Choir concert focuses on songs of rebellion and protest

Athena Benjamin, Writer

Songs of revolution, resistance and renewal remain relevant.

“In our day, protesters around the world when they are coming together to protest injustice or oppression or dictatorship, they’re using music to rally together and using music to unite and make their voices heard,” said Anna Song, director of choral activities and associate professor of music.

Sunday’s Fall Choir Concert featured songs following the theme of Resistance, Revolution, and Renewal.

The concert included performances by the Linfield Concert Choir, Wildcat Men’s Glee Club, and Cascara Voce. The three classes worked on pieces for this concert since the beginning of fall term.

The setlist contained modern songs from plays such as “Hamilton” and “Les Misérables,” but pieces from the Renaissance and the Elizabethan era were also performed. There was a significant difference in sounds and styles, but the emotion and thought behind each song was the same: a fight against injustice.

Each song was given a short synopsis before it was performed to contextualize the composer’s background, intent and impact. This helped deepen perspective and reinforced the afternoon’s theme.

“Music is a direct passage to the soul, to the spirit. It can convey happiness, frustration,” said William McCuen, junior at Linfield and tenor section leader. “If you feel something you use music to convey that to other people. Through music, you can convey emotion and I feel as if this music is the perfect way to convey this need for revolution, resistance, renewal.”

The music covered the 13th century to present day, as well as various places, and styles. The pieces protested gender restrictions, religious prosecution and other forms of oppression.

Even while performing songs in Latin, the singers attempt communicate the intense emotions and intention with their facial expressions and voices. They hope to connect with the audience on an emotional level that will cause them to feel how these composers felt while writing the music.

“[Revolution songs] still have relevance today to people who are trying to fight against injustice,” Song said.