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As part of the 2024 South & Appalachia Creative Placemaking Summit, this special performance activation in the iconic Krog Street Tunnel, featured the renowned Spelman Glee Club, singing selections from their 2024 Tour. 

Conducted by Dr. Kevin Johnson, the Spelman Glee Club is the premier performance organization for the College and sings for most campus events. It has had the unique opportunity to perform with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, a world-renowned opera singer Jessye Norman, and as a part of the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration.

Dating to 1912, the Krog Street Tunnel has become a symbolic center of artistic expression for the East Atlanta community, a visual ‘sounding board’ for the voices of Atlanta citizens, and a prime example of the connective tissue of the Beltline’s pedestrian-focused trail-front traversing formerly divisive urban infrastructure. 

 

A literal space of heightened resonance, the roughly 500ft tunnel has a reverberation time of approximately 3 seconds and amplifies the 

voices of pedestrians along its flanking walkways, mixed in with the soundscape of a key historical corridor of transportation for the city (cars, pedestrians, and MARTA still pass through tunnel and decommissioned rail depot overhead).  It is within earshot of major historical landmarks, including the Martin Luther King Center, birthplace, and relocated Ebenezer Baptist Church. 

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Artists' Statement

In 2018, The New York Highline hosted a novel form of creative placemaking through immersive performance, entitled “The Mile Long Opera”. Through the careful collaboration of musicians, architects, and urban planners, the performance involved the coordination of over 1000 singers spaced evenly along the Highline trail, drawing attention to the soundscape and infrastructural history of a walk along the former train tracks elevated above NYC’s Chelsea neighborhood. 

Similar to the NY Highline, Atlanta’s Beltline Trail follows a former railroad bed circumnavigating the city, serving as a contemporary connective pedestrian thoroughfare, traversing some of the city’s most historic neighborhoods and the urban infrastructure that divides and unites them. Inspired by the initial success of the Mile Long Opera and drawing from the legacy of Atlanta’s diverse choral traditions championed by the late Grammy Award winning conductor, Robert Shaw, during his leadership of the Atlanta Symphony, we hope to bring a newfound awareness to the layered history and continued transformations of the Krog Street Tunnel through immersive song. Entitled, “Resurgens Requiem”, the performance is a nod to Atlanta’s timeless motto, “Rise Again”, and the many great musical ‘requiems’ or ‘tokens of remembrance’ conducted by Shaw in his storied career, celebrating the resounding resilience of Atlanta’s diverse artistic communities. 

By bringing the sounds of Atlanta’s premiere HBCU choir to a space of acoustical and historically symbolic resonance, we hope to pay tribute to the diverse communities and industrial history along the Dekalb Ave Corridor through spiritual repertoire historically tied to the railroad industry, notably performed by the world-renowned Robert Shaw Chorale, accompanied by readings of Shaw’s writings on the ‘Conservative Arts’ to give additional context to the choral performance.

Davis Butner, Creative Consultant
Tyrone Webb, Artistic Director

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