String Quartets play African American Spirituals - Part of the VIRTUAL FAMILY SERIES

Join musicians from CASTLE OF OUR SKINS for music, history and more in this family-friendly "edu-tainment" concert featuring string quartets by Black composers that showcase African American spirituals.

Kid-friendly introductions before each piece will highlight the specific spiritual it is associated with. Then the  original spiritual will be played, along with a brief excerpt of the piece/movement as a bit of a listening guide before diving into the full performance. Watch a performance

Recommended for all ages! Littler ones will get a lot out of the music, and the historic context in between songs will resonate more with older kids and adults.

Run time: 45 - 60 min


The program will include:

~ Adolphus Hailstork "Variations on Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" for string quartet

~ Frederick Tillis "Spiritual Fantasy No. 12" for string quartet which includes the following movements:

  • Nobody knows the trouble I see
  • Wade in the Water
  • Crucifixion (He never said a mumblin' word)
  • I'm a rollin'


  • Gabriela Díaz, violín
  • Matthew Vera, violin
  • Ashleigh Gordon, viola
  • Francesca McNeeley, cello

The performance was filmed earlier in Boston at The Boston Athenaeum.

Join us for a GREEN ROOM: Artist Chat with Ashleigh Gordon of CASTLE OF OUR SKINS on the Strand's YouTube channel. Ashleigh is their Artistic and Executive Director. During the chat, we will hear from her about this important organization, as well as the educational program they recently offered to local Bay Chamber Music students. Plus, we'll get a sneak peek at the COOS virtual performance for the Strand!



Born out of the desire to foster cultural curiosity, CASTLE OF OUR SKINS is a concert and educational series dedicated to celebrating Black artistry through music. From classrooms to concert halls, CASTLE OF OUR SKINS invites exploration into Black heritage and culture, spotlighting both unsung and celebrated figures of past and present.




What people are saying 

"Wonderful! Impactful, artistic and inclusive. ​Thank you!!!" - Audience member

"[the] hopes for [Castle of our Skins] are ambitious, but they seem right for a world that more often than not seems ​agonizingly divided." - The Boston Globe

“The programmatic choices both complemented and reinforced each other, and the impressive performers always communicated directly and movingly with their audience.” - The Boston Musical Intelligencer



Sponsorship Support for the Family Series was generously provided by FULLER CHEVROLET. Grant support is from the Maine Arts Commission, the New England Foundation for the Arts, and the Anonimo Foundation.


CASTLE OF OUR SKINS is funded in part by the New England States Touring program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program and the six New England state arts agencies.

Show Dates & Times:

5/1/21 - Saturday

12:00 pm,

5/2/21 - Sunday

12:00 pm,

5/3/21 - Monday

(All day),

5/4/21 - Tuesday

(All day),

5/5/21 - Wednesday

(All day),

5/6/21 - Thursday

(All day),

5/7/21 - Friday

(All day),

5/8/21 - Saturday

(All day),

5/9/21 - Sunday

(All day),

5/10/21 - Monday

(All day),

5/11/21 - Tuesday

(All day),

5/12/21 - Wednesday

(All day),

5/13/21 - Thursday

(All day),

5/14/21 - Friday

(All day),

5/15/21 - Saturday

(All day),

5/16/21 - Sunday

(All day),

$20, $10, $5, or $0

A video link will be emailed to you after you purchase a ticket.

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