Arts and Entertainment

Clarinetist Anthony McGill to join live 'Meeting the Moment' Feb. 23

Classical musician Anthony McGill is the featured musician in the next virtual episode of Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s “Front Row: National.” Credit: Matthew SeptimusAll Rights Reserved.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — In the fifth episode of the Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State’s “Meeting the Moment with Michael Mwenso” livestream, the performance artist-historian will talk with clarinetist Anthony McGill, the New York Philharmonic’s first African-American principal player.

The free online event, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23, will be broadcast via the Zoom conference app. Questions will be taken in real time from audience members via the chat function.

Visit “Meeting the Moment” for more information.

Contributions from the members of the Center for the Performing Arts and a grant from the University Park Student Fee Board help make the program free of charge. Meghan R. Mason Program Endowment and Richard Robert Brown Program Endowment provide support.

The program is part of the center’s “Up Close and Virtual” 2020–21 season. “Meeting the Moment” also is the keystone event of the Fierce Urgency Festival, the center’s commitment to celebrating Black artists and sharing their stories.

In response to the death of George Floyd in May and the unrest afterward, McGill said, he posted to Facebook a version of “America the Beautiful.” In an interview with NPR, he shared his logic on playing the “wrong” minor notes and his #TakeTwoKnees message in the struggle for justice and decency.

“Sometimes life is minor. It goes off its true melody. It goes off of that simple, beautiful melody that we all expect it to be,” he said. “America has given me more opportunity and more gifts than any place I could ever imagine living. And yet, the melody can go off, and we need to acknowledge that we can hear it. We can’t pretend like it hasn’t turned to something darker.”

Watch Anthony McGill perform “America the Beautiful.” Credit: Anthony McGill

Mwenso performed for the Center for the Performing Arts recently with The Shakes in a virtual concert. As curator and events programmer at Jazz at Lincoln Center, he has shared the stage with Cécile McLorin Salvant, Jon Batiste, Aaron Diehl, Sullivan Fortner and Jamison Ross.

Geisinger and Northwest provide support for virtual presentations by the Center for the Performing Arts.

Visit “Up Close and Virtual” for more information about forthcoming season events.

Find the Center for the Performing Arts on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Last Updated April 15, 2021