An uplifting program that celebrates the beauty of the earth, Concert for the Earth calls for action to stem the destructive tide of climate change. Composed in the early 1980s, the riveting “Missa Gaia (Earth Mass)” weaves lyrical melodies with international gospel traditions, the calls of animals and the songs of whales as a joyful tribute to the planet, reminding us of the incomparable beauty, preciousness and precariousness of nature.
“We are thrilled to sing the ’Missa Gaia’ with Jim Scott and Stan Strickland, and connect with the community in song about the urgent climate crisis,” says Artistic Director Cunningham. “This gorgeous piece, written 40 years ago, is a love song to the beauty of our world and still calls to us to care for and appreciate our place in the interconnected web of all life. The mix of Gregorian chant and church hymns, Latin American and African rhythms and jazz and gospel ballads with the song of wolf and whale is quite a musical experience!”
The performance also features Kim Andre Arnesen’s “Song for Justice” from his “Beatitudes for a Wounded World,” Gwyneth Walker’s call for universal love and understanding in “Tree of Peace,” Moses Hogan’s soulful arrangement of “Wade in the Water” with Stan Strickland as vocal soloist, and Diana Saez’s flowing “Yemaya,” as well as Jim Scott songs “Harmony,” “Common Ground” and “We Are the Earth.”
Climate movement anthems “The Tide Is Rising” by Rabbi Shoshana Friedman and Yotam Schachter and “Do It Now: Sing for the Climate” call us to build a better future right now with Music Out Front and Mothers Out Front, who will add their singing voices and share information on how audience members can support climate justice.
“We’re excited to include works by contemporary composers who call us to action,” says Cunningham. “The collaboration with Mothers Out Front will offer opportunities to get involved and make a difference. Our music can move us to accomplish what our hearts desire and the time is now!”
Halalisa Singers are a celebrated world music vocal ensemble of Greater Boston, dedicated to the performance of music across all cultures and nationalities. Halalisa is a Zulu word for celebration, and in that spirit, the Halalisa repertoire includes African, Latin, American Spiritual, Gospel, Jewish, Folk, and Jazz music. Founded by Nick Page in 1992 and under the leadership of Artistic Director Mary Cunningham since 2004, the chorus offers vibrant, passionate performances throughout the Boston area, inspired by the belief that music is a universal language with the power to uplift and unite us all. The ensemble has been featured at venues and events including the Museum of Fine Arts, Revels’ RiverSing, Winchester Multicultural Network, Lexington Symphony, Refugee Immigration Ministry’s Annual International Concert and Belmont International Film Festival.