“Have you heard the ‘Montgomery Variations’? It’s an orchestral work written at the height of the civil rights movement, dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr., by an accomplished African American composer-activist,” writes Anne Midgette in Sunday’s (11/12) Washington Post. “You haven’t heard it, though, because … until recently, nobody knew it existed…. Its composer, Margaret Bonds … died in 1972 at 59…. Her papers were nearly forgotten.” Her archive “landed in the special collections of the library at Georgetown. And on Wednesday, the Georgetown University Concert Choir is kicking off a year-long celebration of Bonds and her work. This first concert features ‘Ballad of the Brown King,’ a 1954 Christmas cantata in nine movements with texts by [Langston] Hughes [that] had enough success that Bonds and Hughes set out to write an Easter cantata, ‘Simon Bore the Cross,’ [which] was never completed or was lost. So, at least, it was believed, until [Georgetown music professor Anna] Celenza began going through the contents of [a] box found by the dumpster, and came across a complete piano score of ‘Simon Bore the Cross.’ … The second part of Georgetown’s Bonds focus, in the spring of 2018, will be the world premiere performances of this work.”

Posted November 14, 2017