The Art of Songwriting in partnership with The Mann Center for the Performing Arts, NEWorks Productions, Darin Atwater (Composer), American Friends Service Committee Social Justice Leadership Institute, KIPP Philadelphia Charter Schools, Plymouth Whitemarsh High School

Student musicians composed a five-movement suite in response to Leonard Bernstein’s 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, a musical story set in the White House and told from the perspective of the African American servants who worked there. The student work explores what it means to confront racism in today’s America with specific emphasis on moving from Fear to Freedom. The five movements are: Fear, Community, Love, Opportunity, and Freedom.  

Students from KIPP worked with world renowned composer Darin Atwater to compose the musical seeds and worked collaboratively with student musicians at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School to arrange and prepare the piece for recording and live performances.

Recording of the piece took place at Rittenhouse Soundworks in Germantown and was mixed by Kevin Dawkins at King Killer Studios in Brooklyn. See a short teaser video from the collaboration here and check the full EP out here.