“Soldiers never die until they are forgotten.
Tomb Guards never forget.”


Composed by Shawn Okpebholo
Poems by Marcus Amaker

Marcus Amaker
Marcus Amaker
Shawn Okpebholo
Shawn Okpebholo


Watch PBS News Hour’s segment on Unknown with interviews with Composer Shawn Okpebholo and Marcus Amaker.

Unknown is a dramatic song cycle commissioned by UrbanArias and a coalition of national partners to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery

Two award-winning Americans – composer Shawn Okpebholo and poet Marcus Amaker – created this beautiful song cycle, which explores the ideas of war, honor, and memory through the eyes of soldiers, family members, and Tomb Guards who are connected to each other and the Tomb through their mutual service and sacrifice.

UrbanArias Founder and Artistic Director Robert Wood leads members of the Inscape Chamber Orchestra and three spectacular singers – baritones Michael Mayes and Schyler Vargas, and mezzo-soprano Taylor Raven – embody these characters ins this cinematic presentation of the world premiere performance directed by Kristine McIntyre.

Click HERE to read Shawn Okpebholo’s program notes.

Click HERE to read Marcus Amaker’s poems.