A message in support of protests for racial justice

Dear Friends,

These are difficult and challenging times for our community and our nation. The catastrophic impact of COVID-19, compounded by the murder of George Floyd and the resulting mass protests, violence, and division in our country, has many of us feeling overwhelmed, saddened, angry, and fearful. As we look to each other and to our cultural institutions for hope, Andover Choral Society wants you to know that we stand in solidarity with those protesting America’s long history of racial injustice.

Andover Choral Society’s tagline is “Bringing people together through music.” We seek to understand and appreciate different perspectives and to unite diverse community groups as we share our common connection with music. We believe that music can be a vehicle for bridging divides and that this work is vitally important in today’s world.

Through music, we tell the stories of the diverse cultures, experiences, and histories of our community and beyond. We have been striving to present music that goes beyond the traditional canon of choral repertoire and gives voice to lesser-known composers and composers who are often underrepresented in classical choral music programs. We are proud of our 2019 premiere of Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight by Florence Price, the first African-American woman to be recognized as a symphonic composer. In 2017 we presented a concert of music by South American composers that included a tango Mass by contemporary Argentinian composer Martín Palmeri. Prior to the pandemic-related shutdown this spring, we were looking forward to presenting several works by composer Gwyneth Walker, a contemporary composer with connections to Andover.

When we are able to return to singing together, we will continue to sing and perform inspirational choral works by both well-known and lesser-known composers. Until then, Andover Choral Society hopes to offer you some moments of respite and reflection through music shared in our weekly “A Moment of Music” emails as well as our concerts airing on local cable television stations and on YouTube.

We conclude this message with the lyrics and our recording of the African-American Spiritual Peace Like a River.

     I’ve got peace like a river in my soul.
     I’ve got faith like a river in my soul.
     I’ve got hope like a river in my soul.
     I’ve got love like a river in my soul.

This piece has been a special favorite of our choral members. We hope that you enjoy it as well.

Please stay safe, healthy, and connected.

Tom Connolly
President, ACS Board of Directors

Mike Driscoll
ACS Music Director

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