Martin Rokeach: An Oratorio for Oakland 

Large crowds assembled near the two Fisher body plants held by Flint Sit-Down strikers. Flint Journal file photo.

Music may not directly inspire citizens to civil disobedience, but it sure seems that musicians are among the most vociferous opponents of “injustice anywhere.”  The Oakland Symphony, Youth Orchestra & Chorus under the leadership of Michael Morgan may be a case in point: the joint pursuit of justice and musical excellence defined his 30-year tenure.  Among the final new-music commissions he made is Bodies on the Line: The Great Flint Sit-Down Strike, a newly created oratorio by composer Martin Rokeach and librettist Rebecca Engle.  The composer joins us to discuss his magnum opus, preparations for the work’s premiere and its contribution to the late Maestro’s legacy. 

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