Poem of the Innocent by Minneapolis composer Jan Gilbert is a new work commissioned by the Charles Sigmund Fund of the First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis for Chorus and Chamber Orchestra. This work is dedicated to Issa Higiro and his peace building efforts in Rwanda following the 1994 Genocide.
The composer commissioned texts from a women's youth group in Kigali, Rwanda who wrote about their experiences and memories of growing up during and after the genocide. Other texts include the story of Immaculée Ilibagiza, whose books Left to Tell and Led by Faith told of her personal journey to find forgiveness when the genocide took away her family, and the poetry of Derick Burleson, an American poet who lived in Rwanda and wrote about the war.
African drummer Fode Bangoura from Duniya Drum and Dance will join the orchestra in this performance, which premieres on May 4 at 10:30 am The First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, 900 Mt. Curve Avenue.