The Angel's Share

Various Artists

To America

The Green-Wood Cemetery 500 25th St Brooklyn, NY 11232

(Tickets gain access to a 2.5 hour performance in a distanced group of 30 people, departing every half hour)

Co-curated by Andrew Ousley and Harry Weil, with Artistic Partner Liz Player and The Harlem Chamber Players

A limited number of discounted (half-price) tickets are available to frontline workers who helped keep New York City safe and functioning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please contact to purchase those tickets over the phone. One discounted ticket per person.

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the long version

Inspired by the poetry of James Weldon Johnson, who is buried at Green-Wood and best known for his anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” this immersive, cemetery-wide performance event combines music, history, literature, and dance into a single sweeping, shuddering cry into the night. It is a lament, a love song, a prayer, and a plea to America in a time of deep uncertainty, in remembrance of all that this nation has been, and all that it can be.

Performances will feature music by Carlos Simon, H. Leslie Adams, Caroline Shaw, Leonard Bernstein, George Walker, and others, as well as poetry by James Weldon Johnson, Langston Hughes, and Terrance Hayes.

Says Death of Classical Founder and Artistic Director Andrew Ousley of the event: "I’ve thought long and hard about what America means to me, and tried to understand how my beautiful and terrible country has reached this howling pitch of anger, injustice, and indifference. The grounds of Green-Wood and the stories of the people buried there represent this nation in all of its endless complexity, and as we hurtle toward this pivotal moment in history, I can think of no better place to take a moment to remember all that America has been, and all that it can be."

To America
is a collaboration between Green-Wood and Death of Classical, curated by Andrew Ousley and Harry Weil, with Artistic Partner Liz Player and The Harlem Chamber Players.

All pianos are generously provided by Yamaha.

Please note:

– Ticket price includes refreshments (both non-alcoholic and alcoholic) and light food
– This event requires participants to traverse hilly and uneven terrain at night; appropriate footwear and warm clothes are recommended.
– The entire route will take just over two hours and will require walking about 2.5 miles.
– Arrive up to 30 minutes early to check-in.
– Bathrooms will be available before and after the performance, but not during.
– No late admittance, regardless of circumstance. Tickets are not transferable to another time slot.
– We are unable to offer a member discount on this event. We apologize for any inconvenience.
– Attendees must be 21 years of age or older.

All attendees must adhere to mandatory safety protocols that include:

– Wearing a mask at all times
– Keeping a distance of at least 6 feet from those not in your group
– Following all instructions given by the Cemetery’s staff and volunteers

The short version

How would you have us, as we are?
Or sinking 'neath the load we bear?

- James Weldon Johnson, To America

The Artists

The Music

The Harlem Chamber Players is an ethnically diverse collective of professional musicians dedicated to bringing high-caliber, affordable and accessible live classical music to people in the Harlem community and beyond. In addition, The Harlem Chamber Players builds diverse audiences for classical music in general through community and educational outreach, as well as through collaborations with Harlem's other arts organizations, schools and cultural institutions, while creating opportunities for classically trained musicians of color.

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The Artists

The Program

Historic Chapel

  • Terrence Hayes: Inhale, Exhale
  • Lift Every Voice And Sing (arr. Patrick Cannell)
  • Carlos Simon: An Elegy - A Cry from the Grave
  • H. Leslie Adams: Sence You Went Away (arr. Patrick Cannell)

Kenneth Overton, baritone & reader
Ashley Horne, violin
Claire Chan, violin
Amadi Azikiwe, viola
Wayne Smith, cello

DeWitt Clinton

  • Deep River (spiritual)

Paul Grosvenor, bass

Charlotte Canda

  • Caroline Shaw: In Manus Tuas

Robert Burkhart, cello
Selina Hack, dancer & choreographer

Margaret Pine

  • George Frideric Handel: Ombra Mai Fu
  • Billie Holiday: Strange Fruit

Jules Biber, cello
Danielle Buonaiuto, soprano
Freddie June, singer

Civil War Soldiers’ Lot

  • James Weldon Johnston: Beauty That is Never Old    
  • Lift Every Voice and Sing (arr. Kenneth Abeling)
  • George Walker: Music for Brass, Sacred and Profane: Chorale
  • Leonard Bernstein: Somewhere (arr. Noah Luna)
  • Battle Hymn of the Republic (arr. Rob Booth)

David Beck, reader
Dan Blankinship, trumpet
Hugo Moreno, trumpet
Eric Davis, horn
Burt Mason, trombone
Marcus Rojas, tuba
Lucy Dhegrae, mezzo-soprano

Weeping Beech Tunnel

  • Improvisation

Lady Jess, violin

The Catacombs

  • James Weldon Johnson: To America
  • George Walker: Lament (from String Quartet no. 1)
  • Samuel Barber: Adagio for Strings (from String Quartet, Op. 11)
  • Langston Hughes: Let America Be America Again
  • Lift Every Voice and Sing

Chala Yancy, violin
Frédérique Gnaman, violin
Tia Allen, viola
Aaron Stokes, cello
Ivan Thompson, tenor & reader