‘Tyler’s Suite’ in Ridgewood – Clementi’s story, through music
It started a year ago last March in San Francisco and hit the road from there, being performed by gay men's choruses across the country. This weekend, "Tyler's Suite" will make its way to Ridgewood, the hometown of the young man the story behind the concert was written about.
"Tyler's Suite" uses music to tell the story of Tyler Clementi. A freshman at Rutgers University, Tyler had just begun sharing the fact that he was gay with people he was close to. He became the victim of cyberbullying when his college roommate set up a webcam to spy on him, viewed him in an intimate act and invited others to view it online. Once Tyler discovered what his roommate had done and learned that it had become a topic of ridicule in his new social environment, he ended his life by jumping off the George Washington Bridge. He was 18 years old.
"The songs were put together by different world-renowned composers who wanted to remember Tyler's life and death with a piece of art that would last forever," said Sean Kosofsky, executive director of the Tyler Clementi Foundation. "Tyler was a violinist himself, so music meant a lot to him and to his family. The family sat down with the lyricists who helped write the different elements of their story. The song cycle is really about his life and his death, and it consists of vignettes of different elements of how his family knew him and how the world had yet to know him."
The concert features music from composers Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Pippin, Wicked), John Bucchino (A Catered Affair), Ann Hampton Callaway (Swing!), Craig Carnelia (Working, Sweet Smell of Success), John Corigliano (Academy Award winner for The Red Violin), Jake Heggie (Dead Man Walking) and Nolan Gasser, and lyricists Lance Horne and Pamela Stewart.
This Saturday's event will take place at West Side Presbyterian Church, 6 Monroe St., Ridgewood, at 7:30 p.m. To buy tickets, click here.
For more information about the Tyler Clementi Foundation, visit tylerclementi.org.