America the Beautiful Mosaic – Winter 2012
President Jimmy Carter once described America as “not as a melting pot, but as a beautiful mosaic.” Whereas most other nations have a centralized music tradition informed by outside elements, American music is a wonderfully diverse collection of musical strains. This concert featured music from Latino-American, Jewish-American, African-American, and Native-American traditions. It included music of the Shakers, work songs, and songs of the American South. There were show tunes and jazz standards, as well as music by American classical composers. There was music for the church, music for the factory, and music for the gin joint. Taken on their own, these styles may seem to have little in common with each other. Taken together, however, they form a larger picture of American music, a broad and deep tradition springing from the joys and sorrows of the many people that have come to live, work, and play in this country.
The concert also featured a world premiere of “If I Can Stop One Heart from Breaking,” as well as “I Never Saw a Moor,” both composed by Jayne Swank and based on poetry of Emily Dickinson. Three pieces were conducted by chorus members who are also conductors in their own right, showcasing another aspect of the talented musicians in Women’s Voices Chorus.
Deborah Coclanis accompanied on piano, Sidney Curtis on oboe, Linda Metz on flute, and Jennie Vaughn on percussion.