Those seeking a post-election place to reflect, restore and rally will find it Nov. 19-20, 2016, when MUSE Cincinnati’s Women’s Choir presents two concerts titled RISE! at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Performing with MUSE will be Emma’s Revolution, the duo of award-winning, activist musicians Pat Humphries and Sandy O. hailed as “smart, funny and informative – like Rachel Maddow and Jon Stewart with guitars.”
An inclusive and feminist choral community advocating for peace and social justice, MUSE opens its 34th Season with a collection of current and traditional protest songs that promises the choir’s signature blend of inspiration, advocacy, humor and heart. From “Fired Up” by Holly Near, “Wage Peace” by Jennifer Stasack and “Mahk Jchi” (as performed by Native American trio Ulali) to “Which Side Are You On” (union worker protest), “Keep Your Eyes on the Prize” (as performed by Julia Easterlin) and “Still I Rise” by Dr. Rosephanye Powell, the concert will feature songs embraced by Black Lives Matter, Dakota Access Pipeline protesters, education and health reform, the anti-war movement and more.
Emma’s Revolution will take the stage for the second half of the program, performing several songs together with MUSE. With hauntingly beautiful harmonies and powerful acoustic instrumentals that deliver the energy and strength of their convictions, Emma’s Revolution creates new standards in the art and culture of social justice. The duo's songs have been sung for the Dalai Lama, praised by Pete Seeger and recorded by Holly Near. “Peace, Salaam, Shalom” is sung around the world and has been called the anthem of the anti-war movement. “If I Give Your Name” won Grand Prize in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, and the band's music has been featured on NPR's “All Things Considered,” Pacifica's “Democracy Now!” and “The Thom Hartman Show.” The duo tours 200 days a year and, in the spirit of Emma Goldman's famous attribution, “If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution,” Emma's Revolution has brought their uprising of truth, hope and a dash of irreverence to thousands of concerts and activist events across the US and abroad.
MUSE is very pleased to welcome Eva Floyd, PhD, to the podium as Interim Director for the 2016 fall concert. Eva Floyd is an associate professor of choral music education at University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). Her active role in Cincinnati’s choral community includes charter membership in the Young Professionals Choral Collective, founding and conducting both the Cincinnati Homeschool Choir and the CCM Community Women’s Chamber Choir. Eva served as a conducting coach for the Chorus America National Masterclass for Conductors of Children and Youth Choruses. She served on the Music Advisory Committee for the Cincinnati World Choir Games, and she is the Midwestern Regional Representative to the Organization of American Kodály Educators National Board. Floyd’s interim appointment follows the recent departure of Artistic Director Rhonda Juliano who successfully led the choir from 2013-2016 after the retirement of MUSE Founding Director Dr. Catherine Roma.
MUSE also extends a warm welcome to Erin Renee Kelley as American Sign Language Interpreter. Erin follows in the tradition of our beloved Interpreter Extraordinaire Ruth Rowan who passed away in July 2015 after interpreting for MUSE for more than 30 years.
Voted “Best Local Vocal Arts Group” by Cincinnati CityBeat readers, MUSE is an auditioned choir of 50+ volunteer members ranging in age from 20s to 80s and reflecting MUSE’s deep commitment to diversity and inclusion. Now in its 34th Season, MUSE is recognized as one of the world’s top women’s ensembles. Interkultur, organizer of the World Choir Games, ranks MUSE as third in the Female Choir Champions category, and the 2012 World Choir Games awarded MUSE a gold medal.
MUSE presents RISE! at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center on Saturday, November 19 at 7:30pm and Sunday, November 20 at 3pm. Tickets at www.musechoir.org.