NEC's Black Student Union honors legacy of alumna Coretta Scott King with Continuation of a Dream: Requiem

New England Conservatory’s Black Student Union (BSU) presents Continuation of a Dream: Requiem, its annual celebration of the life and contribution of NEC alumna Coretta Scott King ’54, ’71 hon. DM, and of Black students and faculty throughout the Conservatory's history.

The pre-recorded one-hour event will be streamed at 8 p.m. EST on Thursday, February 25, 2021. Watch concert stream

The concert will highlight the stories of students past and present. The streamed event includes a keynote, spoken word, music, dance, digital art, and interviews. Among the pieces to be performed are:

  • Caleb Smith’s “Nostalgia” for saxophone, drums, bass, piano, and guitar
  • Allison Loggins-Hull’s “Homeland” performed by flutist Zoe Cagan
  • “Thina Sizwe,” a traditional South African protest song performed by Naledi Masilo
  • “Fables of Faubus” by Charles Mingus, arranged by Lemuel Marc and performed by Marc with fellow NEC students William Mabuza, Zoe Murphy, and guests
  • “Breathe Again” by Toni Braxton, performed by Zabriel Rivers
  • “The Police State” by Joseph Borsellino; “Keep Marching” by NEC alum Anthony R. Green.

“Requiem, otherwise known as a Mass for the repose of the souls of the dead creates a space in the Conservatory to truly reflect and give power to the Black lives that have been unjustifiably lost over centuries in America,“

says the BSU.

All events are organized by the BSU Board, Zoe Cagan (chair), Lemuel Marc (marketing and media chair), Nnamdi Odita-Honnah (community events chair), Naledi Masilo (board partner), and David Norville (board partner), under the guidance of faculty advisors Nedelka Prescod and Jason Moran, and staff advisors Claudia Robaina Winston and Annie Phillips.

Zoe Cagan smiles and looks to the right and holds flute
Zoe Cagan ’21 MM

“This was a year of mourning and suffering, and our Black communities have taken heavy losses. Continuation of a Dream: Requiem reflects on the pain Black people have endured while also giving power to our songs, our stories, and our lives,”

says flutist and BSU board chair Zoe Cagan.

“This month, we dedicate our programming to those who have walked before us. We dedicate our songs to them, and we continue on the path towards realizing a better today and a better tomorrow.”

A month of celebratory events

Continuation of a Dream: Requiem will be the culmination of a month of celebratory events presented by the BSU and others throughout NEC, including:

About the Black Student Union

New England Conservatory’s Black Student Union is committed to the fortification and celebration of Black art and culture in the NEC community, the advocation for equal representation and inclusion of all students at NEC. The purpose of the New England Conservatory Black Student Union is to provide an open forum for Black and non-Black students who want to be more involved in the discussion about the Black experience, to create a safe space in order to unify and educate Black students and the greater NEC community about the Black history and culture. Through discussion, performances, and outreach, the BSU finds new ways to implement positive change in the community.


New England Conservatory (NEC) is recognized internationally as a leader among music schools, educating and training musicians of all ages from around the world for over 150 years. With 800 music students representing more than 40 countries in the College, and 2,000 youth and adults who study in the Preparatory and Continuing Education divisions, NEC cultivates a diverse, dynamic community for students, providing them with performance opportunities and high-caliber training with internationally-esteemed artist-teachers and scholars. NEC’s alumni, faculty and students touch nearly every aspect of musical life in the region; NEC is a major engine of the vital activity that makes Boston a musical and cultural capital. With the recent appointment of Andrea Kalyn to serve as NEC’s 17th President, the Conservatory is poised to embark on a new chapter at the forefront of innovation in education and music.