Portland’5 We Shall Overcome

Portland’5 We Shall Overcome


Inspired by the words and action of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., We Shall Overcome showcases repertoire from across the African American music traditions that electrified generations of civil rights activists and defenders with interwoven spoken word from Dr. King’s recorded speeches.

Producer and Musical Director Damien Sneed’s career covers an incredible breadth of genres. He has conducted and collaborated major original works for Wynton Marsalis, regularly accompanies Jessye Norman, collaborated with Lawrence Brownlee, and has toured extensively with Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin and the Clark Sisters.

This production ties together a living lineage of music and culture that includes traditional gospel, modern gospel, classical, jazz, Broadway and spirituals. From Aretha Franklin to Wynton Marsalis; Duke Ellington to Stevie Wonder; Nina Simone to Donny Hathaway; and traditional spirituals and music from The Wiz, Damien’s unique understanding of each genre allows him to fluidly cover so much musical ground in a single performance.

Composers include Duke Ellington, Damien Sneed, Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, and Wynton Marsalis. Songbooks of Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick, Donny Hathaway, Music from The Wiz.

“Damien Sneed is an ambassador for classical and gospel music who brings positivity, optimism and thoroughness to every occasion. His talent stretches across traditional divisions. In the realest sense, he uses his artistry to make our world a better place.”—Wynton Marsalis

About Damien Sneed

Curriculum Requirements & Themes


To be posted in December

Reserve Seats

Before you begin reserving seats, please review the following details:

WHAT: We Shall Overcome

SHOW DATE: February 24, 2020

TIME: 11am-12pm

WHERE: Newmark Theatre


  • Reservation sign-ups will be awarded on a access and exposure not necessarily first-come, first-served basis. You'll be notified via email confirmation whether or not your reservation is granted.

  • If multiple teachers are bringing several students from one school, a lead teacher can enter the information in for all the other teachers. Otherwise, each individual teacher will need to reserve their own space.

  • Teachers are responsible for having the school's secretary call PPS or your District Transportation Services to order buses to the event. The PPS number is 503-916-6901. Indicate that Portland'5 will be the responsible paying party.

  • Please review the study guide and plan to incorporate it into your curriculum. Teachers will also be asked to do a short, post-show evaluation to provide any additional narrative of the experience.
    Please do not directly contact Portland'5 or the theater venue.


CURRICULUM GUIDE: Uploaded in December

TO RESERVE SEATS: This form will go live in early December

We Shall Overcome Performance Reservation Request 2020

If you have any further questions about the project, please contact Kristen Brayson, Program Administrator for Visual & Performing Arts, at kbrayson@pps.net.