A photo taken by Dallas Voice former publisher Robert Moore inspired the Turtle Creek Chorale to commission a new piece of music that the chorale premieres at the season opening of the Tower Arts concert series at Highland Park United Methodist Church.
Tower Arts, a series that began in 2004, brings world class artists to the church and to Dallas. This year’s seven-concert series opens with the chorale, which premieres “Be At My Side,” inspired by Moore’s iconic photo taken during the downtown attack on Dallas police. Moore, who lives downtown and has been recognized for his travel photography since leaving the newspaper, came downstairs from his apartment to shoot some pictures of the demonstration, when he was caught in the crossfire.
While protestors were able to escape the gun shots, Moore was trapped in the middle of the street. He ducked behind a police car, where an officer protected him for several hours during the siege. Several photos he took while crouching behind the DPD cruiser were printed in Dallas Voice and other newspapers around the country and were broadcast on TV.
“Be At My Side” was written by Gerald Gurss, conductor of One Voice Charlotte, a gay and lesbian mixed-voice chorus. As part of Gurss’ preparation to write the piece, he spoke to Moore, who related part of the conversation he had with the composer.
“Sometimes it’s difficult for people who’ve been in a violent incident like the Dallas Police shootings to put their emotions into words,” Moore said. “The words sometimes fall flat or seem trite. There are many times when I’ve been at a musical performance where the music stirs an emotion inside me that I’m sure is common throughout the hall and the people I’m sitting with. It is very gratifying to me and I commend the chorale for attempting to harness all the emotions of July 7 and express those emotions through music.”
The chorale plans to perform “Be At My Side” again at its In Your Dreams concert at City Performance Hall on June 2-4.
Highland Park United Methodist Church, 6 p.m. on Sept. 11. Tickets at HPUMC.org/TowerArts
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 9, 2016.