Brooklyn Youth Chorus’ latest project harnesses the power of young people to be instruments of change, giving voice to those who have been silenced or marginalized by social, cultural or religious circumstances. The Chorus has commissioned a diverse group of innovative artists to interpret rich historical narratives and personal stories and create music that explores race and identity, inequity and social disparity—music that matters. Brooklyn Youth Chorus’ Founding Artistic Director, Dianne Berkun Menaker, conceived of the project and is co-curating it with director Kristin Marting.
This PROTOTYPE/FIAF concert will focus on the voices of African-American and immigrant men and women in America today, with commissioned music by Sahba Aminikia, Jeff Beal, Mary Kouyoumdjian, Shara Nova, Toshi Reagon and DJ Spooky and texts by Hilton Als, Michelle Alexander, Samad Behrangi, and Pauli Murray. Helga Davis hosts.
A year-long series of performances, Silent Voices culminates in a world premiere in May 2017, the centerpiece of Brooklyn Youth Chorus’ 25th anniversary season. Other commissioned composers include Caroline Shaw, Nico Muhly, Kamala Sankaram and Ellis Ludwig-Leone, Ellen Reid, Alicia Hall Moran, and Rhiannon Giddens.
Brooklyn Youth Chorus presents Silent Voices in conjunction with its year-long artist residency with WQXR/WNYC.
Silent Voices is a co-commission of Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and WQXR, New York.
Silent Voices is generously supported by The Aaron Copland Fund for Music; the Amphion Foundation; Charles J. and Irene F. Hamm; the Howard Gilman Foundation; the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund; New Music USA; The BMI Foundation; The MAP Fund, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Special thanks to Marcus Wainwright and rag & bone for supporting the project by dressing the Chorus.
Silent Voices is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Photos by Julienne Schaer.