U-M Glee Club featured in ‘Love, Life & Loss’ on Detroit Public Television | Arts & Culture

U-M Glee Club featured in ‘Love, Life & Loss’ on Detroit Public Television

U-M Glee Club featured in ‘Love, Life & Loss’ on Detroit Public Television

Video still of "Seven Last Words of the Unarmed" performance by University of Michigan Men's Glee Club. Courtesy Chris McElroy, Michigan Media.

Detroit Public Television premieres “Love, Life & Loss,” a music documentary featuring the University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club performing “Seven Last Words of the Unarmed” by Joel Thompson and “Glory” by John Legend and Common, from the film “Selma.”

Produced by Michigan Media at the University of Michigan, this short film focuses on the Michigan Men’s Glee Club and conductor Eugene Rogers, associate director of choirs and professor of conducting at the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance, as they perform and discuss a new work that addresses issues of race and social justice.

Dr. Eugene Rogers, Photo by Myra Klarman

Dr. Eugene Rogers, Photo by Myra Klarman

Inspired by Iranian-American artist Shirin Barghi’s #lastwords project, “Seven Last Words of the Unarmed” is a choral work of seven short movements that features the dying words of unarmed black men shot and killed by authority figures in recent years.

Composer Joel Thompson chose seven statements that aligned most closely with the classical structure of Joseph Haydn’s “Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross.”

Rogers, known for selecting songs that promote musical “ubuntu”—a peace concept widely popularized by late South African president Nelson Mandela—said that “Seven Last Words” challenged students to allow themselves to see the world through the eyes of others.

Video still of "Seven Last Words of the Unarmed" performance by University of Michigan Men's Glee Club. Courtesy Chris McElroy, Michigan Media.

Video still of “Seven Last Words of the Unarmed” performance by University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club. Courtesy Chris McElroy, Michigan Media.

“We knew from the minute we saw this powerful film that it was something that needed to be shared with our viewers,” said Fred Nahhat, senior vice president of production at Detroit Public Television. “It documents the journey taken by the composer, conductor and performers as they explore the intersection of social justice and art. I am confident that the inspirational music and the story behind it will ignite important conversations.”

“Love, Life & Loss” will be premiered from 8-9 p.m. on Thursday, June 16. Watch on WTVS Channel 56 or live stream on Detroit Public Television.