More Than Music

BCC News – American Repertory Theater
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Boston Children’s Chorus is passionate about performing art that gives young people the opportunity to reflect critically on their society and to become agents of change. Since our founding in 2003, our flagship event has been the Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Concert, focusing on celebrating the legacy of Dr. King and raising young voices for racial justice. Driven by the powerful, compelling voices of the singers through spoken word, song, composition, performance, and empathetic dialogue, the chorus has explored some of the most pressing social questions facing young people growing up in America today. For BCC, singing in a choir is about more than music—it’s about the music being a vessel for expressing and uplifting the identities, emotions, and perspectives of our diverse community.

In WILD: A Musical Becoming, BCC appears as the Earth Choir. This chorus of children’s voices calling out in urgency and desperation is beseeching those in power to act to save the planet before it is too late: “We want you to panic, we want you to act. You stole our future, and we want it back.” When you hear the young artists sing these lines, bear in mind that they are not acting. The cry from the younger generation to protect our environment comes from a place of true fear and frustration. This generation’s children understand the stark reality that their future is uncertain and that their lives will undoubtedly be impacted by climate change.

A core part of WILD’s story is the boldness of young people to speak out, even when they feel powerless, and to advocate for the things that they believe in. Children and young adults in today’s society are forced to be bold and to take matters into their own hands. From 2019’s TIME Person of the Year, Greta Thunberg, to less well-known names such as Xiuhtezcatl Martinez (Hip-hop artist and Youth Director of Earth Guardians), and Jamie Margolin (Executive Director of Zero Hour), young people are at the forefront of the environmentalist movement. Their fresh perspective and fearlessness to challenge structures and systems puts them in an ideal position to be a catalyst for change in the fabric of our society.

As part of BCC’s commissioning projects, this season our singers are working with composers Jorge Sosa and Suad Bushnaq to create two new works inspired by the singers’ responses to our climate emergency. Over a series of facilitatory workshops, our singers have been working side by side with the composers to develop text and melodies which blend our young artists’ feelings and ideas about climate change into song. It is our intention to share this work with youth choirs across the nation as the voices of BCC’s singers lead a charge in this vital movement.

BCC is proud to partner with A.R.T. to represent youth voices in this amazing show. We hope that as listeners, the raw and direct truth that our singers share resonates with you as you hear this timely production.

Image Credit
WILD Choreographer Chanel DaSilva and Assistant Choreographer Christiana Hunte work with members of the Boston Children’s Chorus. Photo: Patrick Hannafin

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