Friday’s UMass Boston Chamber Orchestra concert offers the audience a musical response to social injustice, highlighting a “peaceful voice of resistance and unity” and including works representing marginalized voices.
Conductor Sommer Forrester says the program in part reflects the diversity of the campus, but also of the Chamber Orchestra itself. The orchestra is unique among music ensembles at UMass Boston. It’s not only a for-credit student experience, but also invites faculty and staff, and musicians from the nearby community to invest in making music together.
Works by William Grant Still, the ‘Dean of African American composers,’ and Arturo Márquez, a celebrated contemporary composer from Mexico, are joined with a work by Beethoven that depicts the oppression of Spanish rule in the early 19th century. Together, Forrester says, they provide “peaceful and hopeful voices of resistance.”
“The title of the program comes from a poem, Making of Peace by Denise Levertov,” Forrester says, “that has this beautiful notion that ‘a cadence of peace’ might create ‘an energy field more intense than war.’”
“The repertoire for the concert draws on Jazz, Mexican dance motives, and heroic anthems that celebrate resistance,” she says “There’s diversity in these composers’ music, in the orchestra that brings it to life, and together we hope to offer an opportunity to rest from the noise of our current discourse.”
The UMass Boston Chamber Orchestra performs in The Recital Hall, on Friday, April 27 at 7:30. Tickets are $5 for students, $10 for the general public, and available HERE or at the door prior to the concert.
From A Cadence of Peace by Denise Leverton
A cadence of peace might balance its weight
on that different fulcrum; peace, a presence,
an energy field more intense than war,
might pulse then,
stanza by stanza into the world,
each act of living one of its words, each word
a vibration of light—facets
of the forming crystal.