“Activism is my rent for living on the planet.”

– Alice Walker –

meet the creators of Don’t look away

John Conahan, composer

John Conahan’s compositions have been premiered by Lorin Maazel, Marin Alsop, Sir James Galway, Denyce Graves, Deborah Voigt, Donald Nally and the Crossing, and many world-class ensembles. His works have been premiered at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Kimmel Center, and The Kennedy Center. He is a performing singer/songwriter, a choral and instrumental composer and conductor, a recording studio musician, and an engaging and enthusiastic lecturer/educator. 


meaghan boeing, librettist

meaghan boeing is an actor, musician and educator, with a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from Ithaca College and a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from The Old Globe/University of San Diego. Using her passion for language and authentic expression, meaghan explores the art of acting from the works of Shakespeare to new plays, and has worked extensively in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Boston. meaghan performs theatre, cabaret, jazz and classical music, and teaches voice, piano and workshops on Acting for Classical Singers. She is the founder of Breaking Bard, a Shakespeare education company, and is a published poet.


dawn pierce

Don’t Look Away was commissioned by dawn pierce, who had a profound influence on the work, its performance, and the development of resources and engagement opportunities in the Ithaca College community. She was the beneficiary of a Reassigned Time grant from the Center for Faculty Research and Development (CFRD), designed to allow faculty to pursue research, pedagogical, service, and creative projects.



“You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to desist from it.”

– Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers), 2:21 –


The creators of Don’t Look Away would like to acknowledge the tremendous help and support we have received during the development of this work:

Kam’ren Spence, Ty Benners, Alexa Rahman, Byron De Leon, Stephanie Monteiro, Anchal Dir, Madison Almonte and the members of the Musicians of Color Association (MOCA), all students at Ithaca College, whose support, critique, and collaborative efforts had enormous impact on the final draft.

Baruch Whitehead, who generously gave support and feedback from the beginning, as well as inviting us to present the premiere as part of the treasured MLK Concert at Ithaca College.

Sean Linfors, Grant Cooper, and Hana Cai who are courageously leading this initial performance, as well as the faculty of the choral and orchestral musicians participating in the premiere, who are supporting their students as they tackle not just a new work, but one that wrestles with complex themes.

All of the performers who are participating in the premiere, who are giving their time, energy, and extraordinary talents to this important work. Additional gratitude for our performers of color, who carry the emotional weight both of experiencing racism and the reactions of their white colleagues, as well as our vocal soloists, Martha Guth, Rachel Schutz, Jean Bernard Cerin, Dann Coakwell and Zach James, who are donating their artistry for this performance.

President La Jerne Terry Cornish and Ithaca College for supporting alumni in bringing the work to our IC Community.

And for their invaluable support, feedback, challenges and contributions, Sean Eversley-Bradwell, Belisa Gonzales, Shadayvia Wallace, Omega Hollies, Angelica Carrington, Gerdrose Jean Louis, Christina Moylan, Chris McNamara, Matthew Clauhs, Samantha Elebiary, David Harker, Ivy Walz, Alexa Chalnick, Benjamin Costello, Anne Hogan, Melanie Stein, Adrienne Ruzic, Kenneth Clark, Patrice Pastore, Mark Webster, David Maley, Tamara Acosta, Jeff Claus, Paula Ionide, Jennifer King MacKenzie and Kyle Hornyak, Shaianne Osterreich, Jake Brenner, Sarah Levy, Eleanor Henderson, Krystel Lucas, Adetinpo Thomas, Jennifer Basquiat-Jones, Damon Gupton, Ben Robinson, Andrea Morokutti, Mike Caporizzo and SRT students, Eric Kibelsbeck, Laura Branca and the Dorothy Cotton Institute, and Beatrice Olesko, Greg Evans, and the Antiracism Committee in Center for Music.


We invite you to reach out to us via dontlookawaymusic@gmail.com with any questions, comments or performance inquiries.