Valerie Coleman’s Stirring ‘Umoja’ Is a Philadelphia Orchestra Milestone

    The Philadelphia Orchestra’s program note Thursday night said the concert marked the first time the orchestra had played a work by Valerie Coleman, and that her piece was an orchestra commission and world premiere.

    The greater significance behind the debut of Coleman’s Umoja, Anthem for Unity, though, is this: It was the first time the Philadelphia Orchestra had ever performed a classical work by a living African American female composer. 

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