top of page

Dark River virtual singalong celebrates

Black artists and activists

July 20, 2020

Greenfield, MA

On Tuesday, July 28, at 7pm, the Pioneer Valley Symphony, under the direction of Tianhui Ng, will launch its Virtual Summer Singalong Series with Mary D. Watkins's captivating opera, Dark River (2009).


This event, which marks the  premiere of the opera’s singalong format, affords choruses and music enthusiasts an entry point into the rich world of music by Black composers. Based on the life of civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer, Dark River invites us to reflect on this moment in our history, the legacy of the civil rights movement and the work that awaits us.

Event participants will experience Fannie Lou Hamer's historic televised speeches artfully transformed into heart-wrenching arias, performed live by Brianna J. Robinson in the title role. The unique virtual format will also provide inspiring insights into the music and Hamer's extraordinary journey. The Dark River Summer Singalong promises a hard look at a difficult past and cautious optimism for the future.


This event, developed by Tianhui Ng in association with WomenArts, West Village Chorale and Pioneer Valley Symphony, offers an alternative to the canonic masterworks that are the staples of choral summer sings around the world. With tuneful easy-to-learn choruses, this event is for all experience levels. More information, including learning aids, audio samples and text excerpts, is available at


Tickets are $15 per accessing device, and can be purchased at

bottom of page