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 On April the 11th at 7:00 pm, Rocky Maffit, Ben Willis, Eric Lambert, and I took the stage at the Hainline Theater to bring my show "Oh Freedom! Live" to life as a theatrical performance for the first time. 


We would be joined in the performance by the 42 voice Western Illinois University Singers in what would prove to be a truly moving performance. The final few days had been blur of details; last minute set changes,writing the image cues, finalizing clearance rights, rehearsing with the band and dealing with lighting, set and sound issues. The tech crew was changing over the stage from a Sunday night performance with an extremely complex set, to our Wednesday performance. To say this was a hectic time is a massive understatement!

And yet, when the stage went dark and the first voices began singing We Shall Overcome from the back of the stage, it all came together in a way that was almost magical.  I’ve seen this production in my head hundreds of times but to do it live was beyond imagination.   The show was  recorded live in a 24 track audio and 4 camera video which I have mixed and edited to a full length DVD.  I hope to have that out within the next month.


The goal now is to tour this show to Colleges, Universities, Theaters and Performing Arts Centers and we will be looking for partners to help make that happen.  The plan will be to use a local choir (college, community, Gospel) to sing the choral arrangements.  The DVD has been completed and is available here:   Oh Freedom! DVD

Evocative performances of 11 pivotal songs from the Civil Rights Movement backed by moving stories of the impact of this music.
-- Rick Kogan
Chicago Tribune/WGN Radio
Winter 2021
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