Her Final Show


for voice and piano (2012)



Anthony Dean Griffey, tenor / Tom Bagwell, piano


3 1/2 min.


voice and piano


Rafael Campo

Program Notes

“Her Final Show” was commissioned by AIDS Quilt Songbook @ Twenty, which is a collaboration between the wonderful organization “Sing for Hope” and the producer of the original AQSB, Philip Caggiano. “Her Final Show” is a setting of a poem by Rafael Campo, who is a very interesting person – in addition to being a poet, he is a doctor who practices internal medicine at Harvard Medical School. His parents are Cuban and Italian, he is Catholic and openly gay, and has devoted much of his practice to treating Latinos and gay, lesbian, and transgendered people, and those suffering from HIV. As a self-described ‘mutt’ his poetry often reflects the disparate sides of his life. “Her Final Show” is about a drag queen dying of AIDS in the hospital and is tragic, funny and heroic, all at the same time. It’s beautiful.

Drew Hemenger

Drew Hemenger’s works have been commissioned by the the Boulder Philharmonic, Rogue Valley Symphony, AIDS Quilt Songbook @ 20,  The Auros Ensemble, Chamber Music Yellow Springs, Sweden’s Duo Con Forza, the Goldman Memorial Band, Madrid’s Jones & Maruri Cello/Guitar Duo, The Lively Arts at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Chicago’s Orion Ensemble, pianists Pascal and Ami Rogé, Symphony New Hampshire, and the University of Texas at Austin.

Commercial recordings include Songs from America recorded by the Jones&Maruri Cello/Guitar Duo on EMEC Discos, an EP of Four Places in New York recorded by pianist Henry Wong-Doe on Hemenger’s own label, and Her Final Show by Anthony Dean Griffey and Thomas Bagwell on GPRecords; produced in collaboration with Sing for Hope, the CD includes music from the AIDS Quilt Songbook @ 20 concert on World AIDS day 2012 at Cooper Union.

Winner of Boston University’s 1996 ALEA III International Composition Competition, Hemenger’s residencies and fellowships include the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Banff Centre, Omi International Arts Center, and the Bowdoin and Aspen Music Festivals. He has also served as Composer-in-Residence for the New York-based dance company, RamosDance.

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