Deborah Simpkin King, Artistic Director & Founder
This concert addresses head-on the need for civility as a viable alternative to the anger of our current times. It asks such questions as “Who do we consider good neighbors?” “How do we establish meaningful dialogue?” “How can we listen respectfully to those holding radically different points of view?”
Honoring the exploration, Ember has commissioned composer Bill Heigen to write a work on Robert Frost’s poem “Mending Wall,” a polemic against building walls that separate us from our neighbors. Ember will also present a unique setting of Fred Rogers’s “Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.” Audience members will be invited into the Ember rehearsal process, where listening is compulsory for the creation of ensemble art.
The Civil Discourse concerts will feature the debut appearance of Schola’s high school branch, the Phoenix Singers, launched as part of this, our 25th anniversary season!
As a time of warmth, giving, and familiar songs and carols, the December holidays inspire dreams and memories. Ember combines heartwarming readings with beautiful music, much of which is familiar. Join Ember and Phoenix Singers in this concert designed to bring both joy and healing. Child friendly and followed by a reception.
Are we able to hear voices other than our own? Historical voices? Voices of other races, cultures, genders? Voices of youth?
The "Outside Voices" concerts will include the premiere performance of a choral setting by Judy Collins’s arranger of her song, "Dreamers." The ensemble will also perform three PROJECT : ENCORE compositions: Michael Bussewitz-Quarm's moving piece "My Name is Lamiya: Don’t Call Me ‘Refugee;’ "Malala" by Adrienne Albert, and Donald McCullough's impactful two-movement set on Roethke poetry, "The Eye Begins to See." Also included is "Please Stay" by Jake Runestad.
Are we able to listen beyond the chatter of human voices hearing the evolving messages uttered by our planet?
Culminating this 25th anniversary season will be a collaborative co-commission by celebrated composers Eric Banks and Robert Paterson that focuses on the global voice of our planet – its natural cycles and human interaction with those cycles. We extend the question, “What peril awaits should we choose not to listen?”