Shaun Leonardo with local veterans in rehearsal

Workshop & Rehearsals

Rice University

In November, the group held a weeklong workshop at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston—a principal partner in the collaboration. Singers from the Houston Choir joined to rehearse an original score by Gabriela Ortiz, guest conducted by David Stockton.

Local veterans, led by Shaun Leonardo, joined rehearsals for the movement based components of the performance, which follow his process of prompts and improvisation to conjure memories of their service in places of conflict. While in Houston for this workshop, we had the opportunity to merge this element of the performance with movement by the choral group for the first time.

  • City  Houston

  • Venue  The Shepherd School of Music, Rice University

  • Conductor  David Stockton

  • Choir Members  Members of Houston Grand Opera and Houston Chamber Choir

  • Musicians  James Palmer, pianist

  • Veterans  Shelia Chatman, Velinda Gales, Lalo Mesa, Kendall Peterson, Edgar Vargus, Yvonne Yalpough

  • Actors  Julia Krohn

  • Sponsors 

  • Partners  The Shepherd School of Music, Rice University

  • Local Production Support 



Alejandro Escuer in impromptu flute rehearsal with choral group
Composer Gabriela Ortiz in rehearsal
Artist James Drake with curator, Leila Hamidi, and director/producer, Steve Jiménez


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A groundbreaking
multidisciplinary performance
That merges
Visual art
SPoken Word
To Create an Urgent
New Language
For Collective Expression.