Photo by Marlee Crawford/Ole Miss Communications

Award-winning Conspirare transform tragedy in “Considering Matthew Shepard”

Performing Arts Series Concert: Conspirare: Considering Matthew Shepard
Date: Friday, Sept. 14, 2018
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Goshen College Music Center’s Sauder Concert Hall
Cost: $40, $30, $25 (buy tickets online)

Opening the 2018-19 Performing Arts Series, internationally recognized choir Conspirare will bring Considering Matthew Shepard to the Music Center’s Sauder Concert Hall on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018.

The Austin-based choir is no stranger to Goshen, having performed twice and recorded four albums here, including the 2-disc set for Considering Matthew Shepard in February and March 2016.

Conspirare, which means “to breathe together” in Latin, was established in Austin, Texas in 1991. It is currently led by Artistic Director Craig Hella Johnson. The group features soloists from around the country and has released 11 albums. The 2014 album, The Sacred Spirit of Russia, won the Grammy for Best Choral Performance; the group has been nominated for six other Grammy awards.

Considering Matthew Shepard is a musical response written by Craig Hella Johnson about the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a student at the University of Wyoming in Laramie who was kidnapped, severely beaten, tied to a fence and left to die for being gay. The three-part oratorio incorporates various poems, passages from Matthew’s personal journal, interviews with his parents, newspaper reports and more woven into a variety of musical styles. Debuting at #4 on Billboard’s Traditional Classical Chart, the work has been described by audiences as “brilliant,” “powerful,” “innovative,” “dazzling,” and “gripping.”

This performance will take place just before the 20th anniversary of Shepard’s death, which resulted in the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, also known as the Matthew Shepard Act, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama on October 28, 2009.

Tickets are $40, $30, $25  and can be purchased through the Goshen College Box Office (574-535-7566, or online at

Future concerts in the Performing Arts Series include:


  • Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018, 8:00 p.m. - An Evening with Gillian Welch
  • Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, 7:30 p.m. - I’m With Her