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Ferguson Protest Interrupts St. Louis Symphony Orchestra Performance

Around 50 protesters interrupted a symphony performance Saturday night with a mournful requiem for Michael Brown.

by Liz Fields
Oct 5 2014, 2:18pm

Photo via Flickr

St. Louis Symphony Orchestra players watched silently, and some clapped, after Ferguson protesters interrupted their performance Saturday night with a mournful requiem for Michael Brown, the unarmed black teen shot dead by police in August.

Shortly after the audience filed into St. Louis' Powell Symphony Hall after intermission, two demonstrators in the center aisle began singing the civil rights song "Which Side Are You On?" before the orchestra had a chance to start Brahms' Requiem, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Three hand-painted banners associated with Brown's shooting were unfurled on the balcony overhead, and the two protesters were soon joined by others who stood up in their seats and continued singing for the next five minutes.

After the interruption, the protesters scattered paper hearts from the balcony that read: "A Requiem for Mike Brown," along with his dates of birth and death. They left chanting "Black lives matter."

Some of the audience, as well as a few orchestra and chorus members, clapped after the rendition, while others looked on noiselessly.

A symphony spokeswoman, Erika Ebsworth-Goold, told the St Louis Post-Dispatch there were around 50 protesters, all ticketed audience members, who showed up to the performance.

The St. Louis police reported no later calls about the incident.

Follow Liz Fields on Twitter: @lianzifields

Photo via Flickr

michael brown
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civil rights song
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which side are you on?