How can I measure in song this last momentous decade? What repertoire over the last ten years speaks to what we have lived through together, especially in these last years of pandemic and lockdown? Nina Simone tells us that, “It’s an artist’s duty to reflect the times in which we live.”
During these turbulent times when many of our rights are trampled and ripped away, the World House Choir will continue to stand up and sing out for justice and for love.
I recently took a deep dive into the World House Choir archives. I was looking mainly to point out to the choir their accomplishments, but I also wanted to show our wider community the role we’ve played.
In the last ten years, the World House Choir has:
- Performed a total of 140+ concerts, programs, memorial services, rallies, and vigils, etc.;
- Performed 15 concerts inside six Ohio prisons;
- Sung 75 programs in Yellow Springs, 25 programs in Dayton and;
- 25 in the surrounding the communities of Wilmington, Kettering, Urbana, Fairborn, Beavercreek, Xenia, Springfield, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Wilberforce;
- Drawn singers from Yellow Springs, Dayton, Xenia, Springfield, Cedarville, Jamestown, Fairborn, Beavercreek, Kettering, Urbana, Hamilton, Middletown, Columbus, and Cincinnati.
We’ve participated in the memorial services of people who have sung with us, and we’ve responded and felt honored when asked to sing for memorial services of community members.
We perform annually at the Yellow Spring King Day celebrations, Antioch College graduations, Coretta Scott King events, and other community events, such as singing at the dedication of the Wheeling Gaunt statue and at the rallies held by Yellow Springs young people after the murder of George Floyd. We’ve sung in services at our local Presbyterian Church as well as celebrations at the Friends Meeting and the AME church. We’ve sung for the Progressive Baptists Conference in Dayton and the Women’s Missionary Society of the AME in Columbus.
We’ve collaborated with choruses at Central State University and with singers in the Jeremy Winston Chorale. We’ve sung at area colleges: Sinclair College, Central State University, and Wilmington College.
As a community-based arts organization, we want to reflect and respond to the needs of our community. Our mission lays out our vision:
To perform music that motivates and inspires our communities toward justice, diversity, inclusion, and equality as we strive for peace and build our web of mutuality.
Something not so obvious, perhaps, is the fact we sing music by a mix of choral creatives, highlighting in particular arrangers and composers of color, as well as women composers and arrangers, all from underrepresented communities. We have commissioned new works from a diverse array of musicians. We have included returning citizens [formally incarcerated] singers since our beginning and we have commissioned returning citizen composers to write music for us.
Our annual self-produced concerts reflect movements and timely justice struggles:
- Love Makes a Family 
- Come Sit at the Welcome Table 
- Together We Bring on the Light with Melanie DeMore 
- Bayard Rustin: The Man Behind the Dream 
- Wade In: A Call to Action on Climate Change/Climate Justice 
- Missa Gaia: Mass in Celebration of the Earth [2015 & 2019]
- Solidarity Dividend: A Concert with Returning Citizens 
- Rise Up. Sing Out. March On 
- Bread & Roses; A Celebration of International Women’s Day 
- Standing on the Side of Love and Justice 
As we celebrate a decade of singing together with the aim to inspire positive social change through music, we are grateful for the strong support of our singers and our community — our World House. We could not have done this without you.
Founder & Artistic Director