Concert Focuses on Saving Earth and Worthy Cause

Songs, poetry and prayers to remind people of the intimate relationship between humans and their planet will be the program on the eve of Earth Day for the Churchill Singers at Westminster College this Thursday night, April 21.

The free concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury on the Westminster campus.

“While the music for the concert runs the stylistic gamut, thematically it all points toward the delicate balance that we must strike between relying on Earth’s resources and nurturing and sustaining our world for future generations,” says Dr. Natasia Sexton, Associate Professor of Music and Churchill Singers Conductor at Westminster.

Among the pieces being performed are folk ballads such as Down in the Valley and Shenandoah, an arrangement of the communion hymn Let Us Break Bread Together and a country-blues arrangement of Huddie Ledbetter’s Bring Me Little Water, Silvy that features body percussion.

Additionally, three compositions written by contemporary American composers, which are considered favorites by the choir, will be performed.  Those compositions include Eric Whitacre’s Seal Lullaby, Emerald Stream by Seth Houston and Earth Song by Frank Ticheli.

Members of the choir hope to do more than simply encourage audience members to think about people’s relationship with the planet and their responsibility to care for it by raising funds for a worthy project.

A free will donation will be taken to raise funds and awareness for a poverty reduction program in Rwanda.  The project, which provides solar lights for Rwandan students in remote areas without electricity, is managed through two international nonprofit organizations, Humanity for Children and Trees for Life.  Through the program, Rwandan children earn solar study lights through their care for local fruit orchards.

The Churchill Singers are partnering with Dr. Bob Hansen, Coordinator of Westminster’s Organizational Leadership Program, on this project.  The Fulton Rotary Club in collaboration with the Kibungo, Rwanda Rotary Club that the Fulton club helped establish is also involved in the project.

Tess Fessler, ’16 from St. Charles, a soprano who has sung with the Churchill Singers for eight semesters, is confident that the concert has something to offer everyone.  Acknowledging that music is entertaining, she says, “Music also has the ability to heal and to create awareness.  This concert gives great hope and it awakens us to the wonders of the world.”


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