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Cazenovia Convention- Juneteenth Presentation

June 16 @ 7:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Photo courtesy of the Madison County Historical Society

Admission is FREE

Juneteenth 2023, on Friday June 16th at 7pm, students from the Music and Theater Arts Department at SUNY Broome in Binghamton NY will present portions of a drama written about the 1850 Cazenovia Convention by Julia Grella O’Connell. Dr. O’Connell created the course From Spirituals to Hip Hop: American Music of the African Diaspora. Each semester Dr. O’Connell develops a project-based learning initiative to encourage her students to see the place of their own work in the stream of Black music history and creates an interactive capstone project in the interest of equity and of engaging students of diverse backgrounds. In the Fall of 2022, she created a musical living history program about the 1850 Fugitive Slave Convention in Cazenovia NY. Students perform the roles of various people who attended the Convention. She also did research on music associated with identified persons at the Convention.

O’Connell is a music scholar who has published articles on topics in nineteenth- and twentieth-century music. She is the author of the book Sound, Sin, and Conversion in Victorian England (Routledge, 2018). As a mezzo-soprano soloist, she has performed throughout the United States and Europe, and co-founded the research-driven chamber music ensembles the Risorgimento Project and the New York Victorian Consort. She received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and teaches at SUNY Broome.

Sha-Diamond Evans, who portrays Emily Edmonson, is a SUNY Broome Community College honors graduate, with an associate’s degree in music recording and production. She will be studying Africana Studies and History at Binghamton University in the fall. In 2021, Sha-Diamond curated the multimedia art exhibit “Rooted in the Land: The Music of Black Americans” for the Gallery@SUNY Broome, leading her to discover her passion for history and museum and curatorial work. She hopes to continue her research on the African diaspora for many years to come, with a goal of making history more accessible to the public outside of the classroom. Tukwaje Francis will be replaced as Mary Edmonson by Fedeline Jean-Philippe

Juan Soriano is in his last semester at SUNY Broome, where he is majoring in studio engineering and beat production. He is also a participant in multiple choirs and musical ensembles and is honored to be giving voice to the great Frederick Douglass. He plans to apprentice in a recording studio.

Rónán O’Connell, portraying Gerrit Smith, is an eleventh-grader and an avid singer, fiddler, and historian. Rónán has performed in the children’s chorus in several productions at Tri-Cities Opera and sung in the sailors’ chorus in the Summer Savoyards’ production of H.M.S. Pinafore in 2022. He is interested in a career in historical preservation carpentry.


Admission to this event is FREE


June 16
7:00 pm - 7:30 pm
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