Yesterday we traveled a short distance north, into the Champlain Islands, to attend a concert by our much beloved women’s choir, Bella Voce. The concert centered on Robert De Cormier’s, They Called Her Moses, a cantata about the life of the indomitable Harriet Tubman. The music was accompanied by a multimedia presentation that gave context to the story. Bella Voce had asked Dr. De Cormier to rewrite the cantata for women’s choir, and the performance yesterday closed the world premiere weekend. The music was joyous, disturbing, and profoundly moving.
As we drove home post performance, we talked about our experience of the piece. On one hand, the music was immensely uplifting. On the other, the focus on the “Freedom Train” ignores the suffering created by Jim Crow laws, suffering that lasted almost a hundred years, and which threatens to be renewed by a new generation of Jim Crow laws. Continue reading