Second “Concert for Peace” in Chicago, with Ma, CSO musicians, singers, community members

Posted on: June 13, 2018

“In classical music, like many other things, context matters,” writes Kyle MacMillan in Monday’s (6/11) Sun-Times (Chicago). “Think of Leonard Bernstein leading Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ to celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989…. Sunday afternoon the setting was St. Sabina Church in a South Side neighborhood that has seen more than its share of violence. Under the auspices of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Negaunee Music Institute, celebrated cellist Yo-Yo Ma and an array of singers and instrumentalists took part in the second ‘Concert for Peace.’ … An overflow crowd about 1,000 packed pews and added chairs for a program that featured adults and youths, amateurs and professionals, acoustic and electronic instruments…. The heart of the program were five songs written by family members of victims of gun violence … created as part of St. Sabina’s Purpose for Pain program, which in partnership with the Negaunee Institute brought participants together with three composers and musicians from the Civic Orchestra of Chicago…. Two uplifting songs [were] ebulliently delivered by about 50 members of the Chicago Children’s Choir…. The St. Sabina Band contributed a breezy take on Horace Silver’s ‘Peace.’ ” Said Ma, “I’m not here to say that music is going to solve our problems. We’re here to bear witness to each other.”

Posted June 13, 2018

Pictured: Soprano Takesha Meshé Kizart (from left), Athanette Marshbanks and mezzo-soprano Sarah Ponder perform Sunday at the Concert For Peace at Saint Sabina Church. | James Foster/For the Sun-Times