LET FREEDOM RING!
Sunday, APRIL 5, 2020
Strathmore Hall, Washington D.C.
Freedom is an elastic idea, malleable enough to squeeze into a tiny fissure or fill a great void. To a lonely soul locked away in a prison cell, freedom has one glaring connotation: escape. On the other end of the spectrum, if one happens to enjoy freedom from bondage, from tyranny and oppression and hunger—an overburdened North American parent, say, with freedom of speech and religion and association to spare—there are still the nagging constraints of time. With all the essential freedoms accounted for, one can always long for the unalienable privilege of a lazy afternoon, curled up with a book or watching a ball game. This, too, is freedom.
The pieces in our program this evening come at the matter from all these disparate angles. In the first act, we will hear meditations on spiritual liberty and the power of community. The freedom to dream, to pray and to imagine. These are the types of abstract aspirations that music is particularly well-suited to expressing.
And in the second act, we circle back to freedom’s primary definition by exploring The Journey of Harriet Tubman. Not content to escape the horrors of slavery, of course, she became a hero struggling to light the path for hundreds who came after her. It is only fitting that a century later, a truly useful characterization of freedom comes from a second great liberator, Nelson Mandela. Inspiring, too, that a man imprisoned by political enemies in yet another racist state could summon the generosity to tell us, “To be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
Tonight, let us all remember our duty to raise our voices, to sing out loud and clear, calling for a freedom that rings from every mountainside, and not just the comfort of our own.
Songwriter & Producer
CASTRO VALLEY A CAPPELLA
Laryssa Sadoway, Director
HANS LEO HASSLER Verbum Caro Factum Est
Arr. KEN STEVEN Cikala Le Pong Pong
CONNOR KOPPIN I Still Possess
NATIONAL CONCERT CHORUS
Jeffrey Benson, Guest Conductor
ROSEPHANYE POWELL Sorida
G.B. MARTINI Domine ad Adjuvandum me Festina
MELISSA DUNPHY Eight of Swords (WORLD PREMIERE)
OLA GJEILO Luminous Night of the Soul
JOAN SZYMKO It Takes a Village
SAN MARINO HIGH SCHOOL CHOIR
Tammi Alderman, Director
Program to be announced
SAN JOSE STATE CHORALIERS
Jeffrey Benson, Director
RON KEAN The Journey of Harriet Tubman