Urban Dolorosa – “The Sorrowing City”
During the first week of November 2011 – in coordination with All Saints, All Souls, and Day of the Dead – Urban Dolorosa organized five multicultural and multimedia memorial concerts in five churches and neighborhoods from across our city: Faith Community of Saint Sabina (Auburn Gresham), First United Methodist at Chicago Temple (Loop), New Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church (West Garfield Park), Holy Cross–IHM (Back of the Yards), and Hyde Park Union Church. Over 2000 people attended to remember children killed in violence, to support grieving families and traumatized communities, and to commit together to end this violence.

Unprecedented Artistic Collaboration
The concerts were an unprecedented collaboration – including the world premier of original sacred music by South African composer Vaughn Fayle (OFM) with libretto (lyrics) by Susan Johnson – and featured:

• Documentary photography by award-winning Carlos Javier Ortiz
• Soprano Jade Maze and Baritone Khary Laurent
• Chicago Community Chorus with conductor Dr. Keith Hampton
• Johnson College Prep Choral Program
• Youth Choir and Marimba Ensemble from Holy Cross-IHM Parish
• Chamber Soloists of North Park University
• Spoken Word poetry by “Mama Brenda” Matthews
• Artistic Direction by Steppenwolf for Young Adults

The concerts combined classical and folk music styles, an African-American youth choral group from Englewood, an Hispanic chorus and marimba group from Back of the Yards, a chamber ensemble from the north side, with documentary photography, spoken word poetry, and a candlelit vigil. Faith communities and civic leaders joined us from across the city – including Mayor Rahm Emanuel and County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

Read Mayor Emanuel’s Proclamation

Media Coverage of the Concerts