Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State

Event Slides Per Node 1415

  • Michael Mwenso and Anthony McGill photos in speech bubbles.

Meeting the Moment
with Michael Mwenso

and guest Anthony McGill

7:30 pm Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Welcome to episode five of Meeting the Moment with Michael Mwenso

This installment features Anthony McGill, principal clarinetist of the New York Philharmonic. In the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd in May 2020, McGill launched a musical protest video urging people to take two knees in demonstration against racial injustice. Hundreds of artists and others amplified the message and responded to the protest with their own videos using the hashtag #TakeTwoKnees.

Mwenso, a Harlem-based cross-genre artist and leader of jazz-funk band The Shakes, is partnering with the Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State to provide opportunities for faculty, staff, students, and community members to engage in thought-provoking conversations that speak to the topics of equity, diversity, and inclusion.

McGill, the first African-American principal player in the history of the New York Philharmonic, performed with violinist Itzhak Perlman, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and pianist Gabriela Montero at the 2009 inauguration of President Barack Obama. In 2020, he earned the Avery Fisher Prize, one of classical music’s most significant awards. The clarinetist performed as part of a trio with pianist Inon Barnatan and cellist Alisa Weilerstein in a 2017 concert at Penn State’s Schwab Auditorium.

The free live conversation between Mwenso and McGill will be broadcast via the Zoom video app, and questions will be taken in real time from audience members through the chat function.


Meeting the Moment is part of the Center for the Performing Arts Fierce Urgency Festival.

2020–2021 Up Close and Virtual season sponsors


Contributions from the members of the Center for the Performing Arts and a grant from the University Park Student Fee Board help make this program free of charge.

Meghan R. Mason Program Endowment and Richard Robert Brown Program Endowment provide support for Meeting the Moment.

Help us continue to provide free streaming programs with a donation of $5 or more. Or join as a member starting at $60 and receive benefits.


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