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UMS Brings World Premiere by American composer Nkeiru Okoye to Hill Auditorium


When the Caged Bird Sings, a new commission and world première by American composer Nkeiru Okoye, is a collaboration between UMS and the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance. The work fuses elements of oratorio, theater, and opera in a multi-movement musical ceremony of sorts, which Okoye describes as “a gathering” that invokes the ritual of the concert experience as a ritual of community.

Drawing inspiration from the Black church, it celebrates the spirit of rising above expectations and transforming adversity into triumph. Partly in tribute to the activist and poet laureate Maya Angelou, the work celebrates the transformative ability of Black women, commemorating those who have paved a path for future generations in many fields of human endeavor.

When the Caged Bird Sings premieres on Feb. 10 at Hill Auditorium. Tickets are available here.