FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 3, 2014 - On the eve of our Nation's first step toward our next giant leap into the new space era, NEWorks Productions is honored to contribute a limited-edition sound recording of the iconic anthem, We Shall Overcome, arranged by American songwriter Nolan Williams, Jr. for choir and orchestra, featuring acclaimed Mezzo Soprano Denyce Graves and the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Dedication Choir. This one-of-a-kind sound recording especially commemorates NASA's Exploration Flight Test-1 of the Orion Capsule, in cooperation with Lockheed Martin Corporation, and NEWorks is delighted to contribute a special-edition CD and choral score publication, both to be flown on this NASA mission.
Commissioned by Georgetown University, Williams' majestic arrangement of We Shall Overcome was premiered on the Kennedy Center Concert Hall stage by the National Symphony Orchestra and Ms. Graves in January 2006. It was later performed as part of the Dedication Ceremony of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in October 2011. Given the history of this arrangement and the symbolism of this song, NEWorks has produced this new recording to duly honor humankind's enduring quest for exploration and discovery. As our nation embarks on a new era of international cooperation in human space endeavors, may the lyrics of this anthem compel us all the more towards this realization: We shall live in peace someday.
In 2011, NEWorks partnered with the National Memorial Foundation and DESHO Productions to coordinate music for the Dedication Ceremony of the MLK National Memorial which featured performances by a range of artists including Stevie Wonder, James Taylor, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Mary Mary, Jennifer Holliday, Nova Payton, and the 75-voice MLK Memorial Dedication Choir.
From 2009 to 2016, NEWorks coordinated multiple White House tour performances for the Voices of Inspiration (pictured below) in commemoration of Black History and Black music months.
In July of 2012, NEWorks was tasked to lead a cultural envoy to Cairo, Egypt on a cultural exchange mission during the holy month of Ramadan. The complement of singers (pictured-l) participated in public workshops and performances with artists from around the world who travelled to Egypt for an international sufi chanting festival. Led by NEWorks CEO Nolan Williams, Jr, the roster of artists included (l-r): Nova Payton, Iyona Blake, Samantha McElhaney John, Dennis Sawyers, Byron Nichols, Danton Whitley, Joy Swafford King, Vanessa Williams, and Victoria Purcell.
To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington, NEWorks partnered with the Embassy of India, DESHO Productions, the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the Mayor's Office of the District of Columbia to produce Reflections on Peace, a global concert of peace featuring artists from India, Sri Lanka (international pianist Soundarie David Rodrigo is pictured above, top-c), South Africa, and the United States (2013). Pictured above (far left) is the Honorable Nirapoma Rao, former Ambassador of India to the United States.
Spanning from the diplomatic arena to outer space, NEWorks has an impressive log of and renowned projects and collaborations. Scroll below to explore a few highlights.
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PHOTO CREDITS: K. DuBose for NEWorks Productions ▪ Billy Heart for NEWorks Productions ▪ DerekBrad Photography ▪ Nathea Lee, PhotoBravura ▪ Jordan August ▪
Mel Epps ▪ Courtesy of the Mann Center for the Performing Arts ▪ Courtesy of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts ▪ Courtesy of Vital Voices