Two Black Churches

for Baritone and Piano

Shawn E. Okpebholo / Dudley Randall / Marcus Amaker
Out of Stock


With his diptych for voice and piano, Two Black Churches, Shawn Okpebholo commemorates the Black lives lost to two racist attacks in the recent history of the United States: the girls murdered in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963, and those massacred during the shooting at the Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina in 2015. The first movement sets the poem "Ballad of Birmingham" by Dudley Randall, written from the points of view of one of the Birmingham bombing's young victims and of her mother; the second sets a new text, "The Rain," written for this piece by South Carolina's first poet laureate, Marcus Amaker, in memory of the victims of the Charleston massacre.

Two Black Churches was composed for baritone Will Liverman, who commissioned the piece, and pianist Paul Sanchez, who gave the work its streaming premiere together in June 2020. This vocal score includes a full program note from the composer and reprints the text as well as a dedication to each of the thirteen whose lives were taken in these attacks. The duration of the piece is approximately 17 minutes.


  • Ballad of Birmingham
  • The Rain

Additional Information

Item Number: EP68801
Format: Sheet Music
Number of Pages: 20
Duration: 17 Mins
Publication Date: 16/11/2022
Barcode: 9790300762821
ISMN: 9790300762821
Format: 232 x 303 mm
Instrumentation: Baritone and Piano
Language: English

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