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WRTI Spotlight

The Philadelphians in Concert on WRTI: Sibelius, Copland, and a World Premiere by Hannibal Lokumbe

On Sunday, May 30th at 1 PM on WRTI 90.1 and Monday, May 31st at 7 PM on WRTI HD-2, Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts an emotionally charged work by composer, jazz trumpeter and educator Hannibal Lokumbe, commissioned by The Philadelphia Orchestra and given its world premiere back in 2015.

Hannibal's One Land, One River, One People, that he calls a "spiritatorio," uses the river as a metaphor for the symbolic connection between communities, and the people who live in them. It’s essentially an oratorio, featuring chorus, soloists, and text written by the eloquent composer himself, who was in attendance at this performance.

Listen to WRTI's Susan Lewis speak with Hannibal Lokumbe, the composer of "One Land, One River, One People."

The Philadelphia Orchestra is joined by the combined choirs of three historically Black universities: Lincoln University, Morgan State University, and Delaware State University, all under the direction of J. Donald Dumpson, and featuring soloists, soprano Laquita Mitchell and tenor Rodrick Dixon.

If community and identity are key themes in One Land, One River, One People, two other well-loved works on this program certainly are equally so — Jean Sibelius's Finlandia, and Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring, the Pulitzer-winning work that popularized the Shaker folk song "Simple Gifts."

Read detailed program notes from the concert.

Jean Sibelius: Finlandia
Aaron Copland: Appalachian Spring
Hannibal Lokumbe: One Land, One River, One People
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor
Laquita Mitchell, soprano
Rodrick Dixon, tenor
Combined Choirs including:
Delaware State University Choir; Lloyd Mallory, director
The Lincoln University Concert Choir; Edryn Coleman, director
Morgan State University Choir; Eric Conway, director
J. Donald Dumpson, choral direction

Gregg Whiteside is producer and host of The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcasts on WRTI 90.1 FM in Philadelphia and streaming online at, every Sunday from 1 to 3 pm. and repeated on Monday from 7 to 9 pm on WRTI HD-2.