a call for equality and activism
Elinor Armsby, Artistic Director
Kelvyn Koning, Collaborative Pianist
Sunday May 7, 2023 at 4:00 PM
On May 7th, 2023, Cantilena women’s chorale, based in Arlington MA, will be performing "Fired Up!" - a concert program which focuses on uplifting marginalized voices and calls for equality and the protection of individual rights.
Two outstanding selections anchor the spring program.
The major work presented in this concert is “Lifting as we Climb” written by Joan Szymko to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment's passage to the US Constitution, giving White women the right to vote; nevertheless, the piece points out that BIPOC women would wait decades before they too could vote. Amplifying the voices of Black suffragists, the title, “Lifting as we Climb,” echoes the motto of the National Association of Colored Women. While celebrating the women's suffrage movement, Szymko’s work calls us to take action now against the current assault on women’s rights, equality, democracy & universal suffrage and protect these hard won civil liberties. "Lifting As We Climb," a work in 4 movements, is scored for women's choir, narrators, piano, alto saxophone and drums.
Additionally, Cantilena is delighted to commission our very own Kelvyn Koning to compose a piece for the chorus. This work for treble voices & piano will “highlight the stories of homeless LGBTQ+ youth through their own voices." Informed by interviews with homeless shelter staff and individuals who currently have or formerly had no home, Koning writes that "it aims to remind our community that some of our most vulnerable members are not 'others' but fully-realized people with a vast range of stories.”
This program is supported in part by a 2023 Festivals & Projects grant from the Mass Cultural Council (MCC) and municipal funding from the Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture (ACAC) Grants Committee, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council (MCC), a state agency. In addition, Cantilena has been awarded a 2023 Recovery Grant from the Mass Cultural Council (MCC) to support the organization.
Cantilena is pleased to participate in the Card to Culture program, offering EBT, WIC, and ConnectorCare discounts to cardholders to broaden accessibility to cultural programming. The program is a partnership between participating arts organizations, the Mass Cultural Council, the Department of Transitional Assistance, Massachusetts Health Connector, and the Women, Infants & Children Nutrition Program.