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St. Louis Symphony's 'German Requiem' Performance Halted as Protestors Chant for Michael Brown Before Second Half

By Ian Holubiak i.holubiak@classicalite.com on Oct 06, 2014 08:51 PM EDT

Classical music-goers united during a St. Louis Symphony performance of Brahms' German Requiem to protest the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. And as to be expected, the symphony halted their performance to join the voices.

The demonstration, said Adam Crane, the symphony's vice presidents for external affairs, to The New York Times, began just after intermission and before the orchestra started playing.

By his estimates, about 50 people from a roughly 1,500-strong crowd stood up in the theater and chanted, "Which side are you on, friend, which side are you on?" It began with one and took on a life of its own.

The chant continued, "Just for Mike Brown is justice for all," and went on for three to five minutes and ended peacefully. Members of the audience and orchestra who weren't in on the flash protest applauded as they concluded "Black lives matter."

Banners were also lowered from the balcony reading, "Requiem for Mike Brown 1996-2014." Brown was shot on August 9 by a police officer in Ferguson, which has sparked racial tensions in Ferguson and all over the U.S.

The demonstrators, interestingly enough, were paying attendees of the performance. Instead, they were merely trying to wake up the "blind state of white St. Louis," which is rooted in Powell Hall.

The event was organized by Sarah Griesbach.

Bravo, Sarah, bravo. And to get a feel, here are those voices for Michael Brown at the St. Louis Symphony.

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TagsSt. Louis, German Requiem, Johannes Brahms, Adam Crane, Sarah Griesbach, Powell Hall, Michael Brown

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