Ann Hampton Callaway Craig Carnelia

Halfstack Highlights: “Wicked” Composer curates music against bullying for Chicago Premiere

Wednesday, March 04, 2015 tgoandco

In today’s Halfstack Highlights, we talk with Paul Caldwell, creative director and conductor of Windy City Performing Arts. In their new concert series, Legacies of Hope, the group honors the lives of the countless LGBTQ youth who are at risk in our communities, and will feature the Midwest premiere of Tyler’s Suite. Tyler’s Suite honors the memory of Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers University student and classical violinist who took his own life after being cyberbullied for being gay by his college roommate. Paul discusses the chorus, the work and the foundation with Thom Olson, writer for Halfstack.

Paul Caldwell for WCPA
Tyler’s Suite is an original, multi-movement work curated by Stephen Schwartz (of Wicked, Godspell, Pippin) and was created by top American composers of this century. Set to lyrics by Pamela Stewart with sections contributed by John Bucchino, Ann Hampton Callaway, Craig Carnelia, Nolan Gasser, Jake Heggie, Lance Horne, and Stephen Schwartz, Tyler's Suite highlights the impact and consequences of bullying. This new work will be presented at at St. James Episcopal Cathedral in downtown Chicago. The Suite was co-commissioned by Tyler Clementi Foundation and six of the country’s other leading gay choruses, (San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus, Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, New York City Gay Men's Chorus, San Diego Men's Chorus, Turtle Creek Chorale/Dallas, and Seattle Men's Chorus.)  It is the hope of the Tyler Clementi Foundation that the hauntingly beautiful lyrics and music will “shine a light of hope and endless possibility” for other at-risk youth and their families. Foundation members, including Tyler’s mother, Jane Clementi, will be in attendance at both Chicago performances.

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Stephen Schwartz, composer for Wicked
I hope you enjoyed this latest episode of Halfstack Highlights. If you listeners are interested in learning more about Windy City Performing Arts, you can visit them online at: Also, if you have the means, please donate what you can to Windy City Performing Arts or the Tyler Clementi Foundation ( And remember, please feel free to rate our podcasts and leave a comment on itunes! Your comments and feedback will help us to grow as we develop this new outlet and will allow the podcast, the people and the creatives showcased to be exposed to an even bigger audience.

Thanks for your support!
Jennifer Lezan

Thom Olson

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