Summer Benefit Concert and Tour Wrap-up

Thanks to Sarah Z., here is concluding post about the Women’s Voices Chorus summer concert and tour:

Our European tour had its true coda on Saturday, July 14, when the chorus held its annual summer benefit concert back home. For an enthusiastic crowd of approximately 140 people at the United Church of Chapel Hill, we performed music learned especially for the tour—including pieces in Hungarian and Slovene—plus American favorites from our repertoire.

Allan prefaced each song with informal comments, clueing the audience into our unique experiences abroad. Of particular note: the Hungarian national pride we felt so keenly in Budapest, perfectly expressed in Zoltán Kodály’s “Huszt”; the special pleasure of working with Slovene composer Damijan Močnik on “Blagri,” his setting of the Beatitudes; and the extra appreciation our foreign friends showed for American spirituals like “Deep River” and “Ain’t No Grave.”

The richness of our adventures—musically, culturally, and socially—brought a palpable energy and maturity to this final performance. But we were equally excited by the organization we sang to support: Arts for Life, a nonprofit that provides art activities and education to chronically ill children in four hospitals across the state.

After seeing so much of other places, it felt good to return our vision to the local community. Mary Margaret Fulk, the AFL program director at Duke Children’s Hospital, spoke movingly of how art projects give kids a break from the unrelenting demands of illness management. For cancer patients, transplant recipients, and other sick children undergoing specialized procedures, Arts for Life is an essential program: It helps them express hope and happiness through painting, drawing, sculpting, and other hands-on activities.

What better way to conclude our own artistic journey than to support this incredible organization? If you missed the chance to contribute, you can still do so online via the “Donate” button on the AFL website. And if you want to see what lies ahead for Women’s Voices Chorus, sign up for our mailing list here.

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