Valerie Coleman’s Umoja

The New York Philharmonic

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Valerie Coleman’s Umoja

We celebrate the centennial of the 19th Amendment, ratified 100 years ago today, by sharing pieces composed by American women. Here’s a performance of an arrangement of a selection from Valerie Coleman’s Umoja.

The composer said this about the piece: “Umoja is the Swahili word for unity. This work is through a traditional call-and-response, and the call-and-response tradition was a way of passing on history, messages, stories, whatever it may be. As a composer, I’m a storyteller, so ‘Umoja’ is going to take the listener on a story about unity, and I think this is a message that we need today, more than ever.”

Valerie Coleman

Selection from Umoja: Anthem for Unity