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Saturday Classical Coffeehouse on WRTI Responds with Music for Reflection, Healing, and Peace

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Like you, we at WRTI are deeply shaken by George Floyd’s tragic death, the result of racism and the worst in human destruction. To help counter that, we want to share the best of human creation—music that uplifts and heals, that allows us to mourn, and that helps us express emotions too deep to put into words.

Starting at 8 AM on Saturday Morning Classical Coffeehouse, I invite you to to hear great African-American artists and composers whose contributions to world culture are incalculable. Jessye Norman, Denyce Graves, Jubilant Sykes, William Brown, and Keith Spencer are among those whose glorious voices will stir us, in African-American spirituals and songs of great power.

You’ll be transported by the genius and imagination of Florence Price, William Grant Still, Duke Ellington, Scott Joplin, Michael Abels, James Weldon and Rosamund Johnson, Valerie Coleman, and Philadelphia’s own Leon Bates.

Music will bring you solace in selections from Johannes Brahms’ A German Requiem, Karl Jenkins’ Mass for Peace, and the Orchestral Suite in D Major of J.S. Bach, with its healing "Air on the G String." We’ll hear the enormous impact that African-American music had on composers such as Antonin Dvorak and Maurice Ravel.


Above all, we wish to share, through this music, our hope for a more just America, and a better, kinder future for the children of this world.


Debra's last day on the air at WRTI was September 21st, 2021. She's now the radio host for The Metropolitan Opera. Read more here.