An ensemble of about 30 violinists, violists, cellists, and double bassists gathered Wednesday night in Malcolm X Park in West Philadelphia for a candlelight vigil in memory of Elijah McClain. The musical demonstration in the park at 51st and Pine Streets drew about a hundred listeners, some of whom brought instruments of their own to join the ensemble in several works after an opening performance of George Walker’s “Lyric for Strings.”
The 23-year-old McClain, a massage therapist and violinist, was detained by police in Aurora, Colo., last August, placed in a carotid hold, and injected with a sedative.
He died several days later. An initial investigation ended with no charges filed in his death. After public pressure, a new investigation was ordered.
Wednesday’s vigil also honored the memory of Mouhamed Cisse, a cellist shot to death June 1 in West Philadelphia by an unknown assailant. The vigil will be repeated Sunday at 8 p.m. on the east steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.