Yes, it’s been ten years since the World House Choir first stepped out onto the stage and we are celebrating with three rousing performances at the Foundry Theater, 920 Corry Street in Yellow Springs.
- Thursday, Sept. 21 at 7:00 PM [an open dress]
- Friday, Sept. 22 at 7:00 PM
- Saturday, Sept. 23 at 4:00 PM
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. Our anniversary concerts offer a musical mix of hope and healing to build resilience for the struggle ahead. Some songs call for action, while others offer comfort and hope. Some are songs to anchor the soul with lines such as these from Langston Hughes, set to music so beautifully by Rosephanye Powell,
All of you who are dreamers too,
Help me make our world anew.
I reach out my hand to you
Let us reach our hands out to each other. We all gain by gathering and working together, as demonstrated recently in the defeat of Issue 1 here in Ohio. Now is precisely when we need to resist the vortex of despair and hate—-to sing out, march on, and fight back. As a community of singers and citizens united, we need each other, and the arts can inspire us to action because singing can change the air we breathe.
For this concert, we will feature powerful works by women composers and arrangers like Holly Near, Carrie Newcomer, Bernice Johnson Reagon and Rosephanye Powell; we will honor deep feelings of grief and loss felt these last several years by singing Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child, and feel the expanse of the unfathomable when we sing the hauntingly gorgeous Agnus Dei from the Missa Gaia: A Mass in Celebration of the Earth. These songs remind us of our commitment to love, justice, and hope and help us repair our severed ties from the lockdowns of despair.
While the program primarily includes pieces we’ve sung in the past, we could not pass up programming Bernice Johnson Reagon’s compelling composition, Greed, featuring WHC soloists Chloe Manor and Sarvani Nicolisi,
Greed-driven men created slavery,
Black men, women, and children became somebody’s property;
Greed is a strain on the American dream;
Having more than you need is the essential theme.
In another apt piece of protest music for these times, Labi Saffre’s song, Something Inside So Strong, WHC tenor, Phillip O’Rourke, sings:
The more you refuse to hear my voice, the louder I will sing;
The higher you build your barriers, the taller I become.
The program features vocalists from within the choir as well as guest artists. Several soloists are returning citizens (formerly incarcerated) who will add their voices to our eclectic mix. Our program features both unaccompanied works as well as pieces accompanied by dynamic area instrumentalists. And, as always, there will be ample opportunity for everyone to join us in community singing.
Admission is free. Donations are welcome. Childcare is available during the concert, but you must call 913-207-1517 by September 18 to make reservations.