On Tuesday, April 9th, 2019, the creators of A Gathering Of Sons, an original work commissioned by Pittsburgh Festival Opera for its 2017 season, accepted the Bronze World Medal for Excellence in a Production dealing with Society & Societal Issues at the New York Festivals® International TV & Film Awards.

The Sons production was chosen from hundreds of entries from 50 countries worldwide.

The red carpet awards gala took place at the WynnEncore Ballroom in Las Vegas during the National Association of Broadcasters convention. On stage to accept the World Bronze Medal were the opera’s Librettist, Dr. Tameka Cage Conley, Composer Dwayne Fulton and Stage Director Mark Clayton Southers, along with Pittsburgh Festival Opera Board President Dr. Eugene Myers.

Bronze World Medal

"This is a huge win for Pittsburgh Festival Opera. A testament to the power of a great story and the beauty of artists being appreciated and rewarded for their hard work and dedication to their craft on the international stage.”

Stage Director Mark Clayton Southers said

Commissioned as part of Pittsburgh Festival Opera’s Music That Matters series, “A Gathering Of Sons” is a 90-minute gospel-infused opera that tells the story of a black family whose son is shot by a rogue white cop, and the healing that can arise from such tragedy, helped by a collection of spirits who watch over the world and its people. This fearless original production confronts racial violence in America with stirring and instantly memorable music and lyrics, and shows how love and compassion can overcome hatred and violence.

“A Gathering of Sons is a work that transcends story telling in a theatrical musical way and that sheds light on the injustices that plague our society.”

The opera’s composer, Dwayne Fulton notes


“This opera was born from a wound caused by the untimely deaths of African American men and boys, yet it rises in hope for the children of this generation as well as the next.”

The “Sons” librettist, Dr. Tameka Cage Conley adds

The opera was video recorded at its final performance during the 2017 Pittsburgh Festival Opera summer season and then aired on WQED in Pittsburgh in July of 2018. Lynne Squilla is the video’s Producer, with Doug Sicchitano as Director-Editor and Chris Proccopio Sound Engineer. For the New York Festivals® International TV & Film Awards, the work was judged by a panel of professionals in the TV and film community from around the globe.

The New York Festivals® International TV & Film Awards honors content in all lengths and forms from over 50 countries. Embracing all aspects of the Television and Film industries, awards categories mirror today's global trends and encourage the next generation of story-tellers and talent.

Dedicated to fairness and integrity, the New York Festivals® are all about recognizing the work. All six of the Festival’s award competitions honor and promote the exceptional and innovative content being created today on all continents and seen across all platforms, with respect for the achievements of the many talented men and women who make up the worldwide creative community.


Learn More About A Gathering of Sons