Drew Peterson, pianist
Josephine Baker
John Edward Hasse, guest curator
Felix Conteras, conga
Ellington Carthan, pianist and narrator
Jeffrey Mumford, guest curator
Annie Jacobs-Perkins, cello
Katerina Burton, soprano
Robin De Jesús, actor
David Strathairn, actor
Kevork Mourad, artist
Derek Goldman, playwright/director
José Sacín, bass baritone (Don Quihote)
Israel Lozano, tenor (Master Peter)
Jennifer Zetlan, soprano (Trujaman)
Ricardo Marlow, Flamenco guitar
Philip Kennicott, guest curator
Hany Hassan FAIA, visuals
Flávio Chamis, guest curator
André Mehmari, pianist and composer
Tatjana Mead Chamis, viola
Elin Melgarejo, vocalist
Jerod Tate, guest curator
Nino Rota, composer

Amazing Grace: Music for the Spirit

Amazing Grace is perhaps one of the most beloved folk hymns, uplifting people around the world for centuries. Join PCE as we ring in the new year with Amazing Grace: Music for the Spirit, the first of what will be a seasonal family-concert tradition. Hear versions of Amazing Grace woven throughout the program along with African-American spirituals, works by William Grant Still, J. S. Bach, Evelyn Simpson Curenton, and one of the most celebrated American composers alive today, Adolphus Hailstork. Audiences will leave this stirring program for chorale and orchestra reminded why music is known as the universal expression of the human spirit, ending with a joyous sing-along not to be missed.

PostClassical Ensemble will be joined by guest soloists tenor Wayne Jennings and soprano Angeli Ferrette, bass Justin Harrison, the CAAPA Chorale, with Guest Curation by Stanley J Thurston (The Heritage Signature Chorale, Washington National Cathedral).

Adolphus Hailstork, one of the most celebrated American composers, will also join us on stage to receive PCE’s American Roots Artist Award.


Amazing Grace: Music For The Spirit

Wednesday, January 11, 2023, 7:30pm

Terrace Theater | The Kennedy Center | 2700 F St NW, Washington, DC

Stanley J. Thurston, guest curator

Evelyn Simpson Curenton, piano

Angeli Ferrette, soprano

Wayne Jennings, tenor

Justin Harrison, bass

CAAPA Chorale  

Andre Leonard, piano

PostClassical Ensemble conducted by Angel Gil-Ordóñez


  • Spirituals
  • Let Us Break Bread Together                  
  •      arr. Jacqueline Hairston
  • Sweet Little Jesus Boy                              
  •     arr. Stanley Thurston
  • I Can Tell the World                                
  •     arr. Moses Hogan (a cappella)
  • William Grant Still:  Scherzo (“Humor”) from Symphony No. 1
  • Adolphus Hailstork: I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes
  •      I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes
  •      How Long?
  •      The Lord Is My Shepherd. Alleluia
  • J.S. Bach: Herz und Mund - Tat und Leben – Cantata BWV 147 
  •       Bereite dir, Jesu, noch itzo die Bahn
  •      Ich will von Jesu Wundern singen
  •       Jesus bleibet meine Freude
  • John Newton: Amazing Grace                                  
  •      arr. Evelyn Simpson Curenton 

Post-Concert Discussion with Adolphus Hailstork, Stanley J. Thurston, Angel Gil-Ordóñez

Presented without intermission

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What people are saying

So many thanks for that most inspiring, capacious evening. With PCE’s usual ability to surprise and delight… that symphony was astonishing…


Your leadership and dramatic shaping of the Symphony last night was truly masterful - and so inspiring. I know I’ll never forget this experience. Thank you, Maestro!


I loved the intimacy of the ensemble and the aching beauty of the melody repeating and recurring and turning up where I did not expect it .  And I found the quality of the sound thrilling.

That was my take on the concert --that and the tears that it brought to my eyes, simply to be there, to be present at the creation of something so beautiful..


What a perfect PCE evening, wonderful concert and lovely gathering


Angel, You are so musical! I've played the 4th twice, it was the first Mahler I heard as a kid, and I'm invariably disappointed that conductors don't let it breathe.  U nailed it.


Congratulations again to you and your superb ensemble on a wonderful and provocative performance in the Terrace Theater last evening.  As always, we learned something from this concert and it was fun, too.


Everything about it was sheer delight, including the lively and interesting talk at the end…