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: Fire and Light

Honoring composer Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate with PCE's American Roots Artist Award

PCE’s seasonal tradition ringing in the New Year, Amazing Grace, returns with a stirring program of music for chamber orchestra and vocal soloists. Celebrating the universal expression of the human spirit through music, PCE’s annual Amazing Grace prompts a living BIPOC composer to curate a concert of music they connect with deeply, as well as sharing their own work. In January, Native American composer Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate takes PCE on a journey of fire and light in a program featuring selections from his moving cantata Standing Bear and Lowak Shoppala’ (Fire and Light), a work expressing Tate’s Chickasaw heritage through music, among others. The concert also includes Samuel Barber’s dreamlike Knoxville: Summer of 1915 performed by Mvskoke soprano, Kirsten C. Kunkle.

As a special tribute, PCE will present Mr. Impichchaachaaha’ Tate with PCE’s American Roots Artist Award for outstanding contributions to American music. Bring the family and join us in singing Amazing Grace with the whole ensemble at the end of the evening.


Amazing Grace: Fire and Light

Mon. Jan. 13, 2025 7:30p.m

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

Presented without intermission

Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate

Kirsten C. Kunkle, soprano

PostClassical Ensemble, conducted by Angel Gil-Ordóñez


Jerod Tate: Hymn 

Tate: Spider Brings Fire from Lowak Shoppala’

Samuel Barber: Knoxville: Summer of 1915 

Tate: Chokfiꞌ for Strings and Percussion

Tate: Selection from Standing Bear: A Ponca Indian Cantata 

Traditional: Amazing Grace 

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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…