The One Voice Mixed Chorus held a heartfelt concert of song, testimonials and ruckus at Ordway Concert Hall on Sunday to honor queer youth and elders. The “Generation” concert was the final performance led by artistic director Jane Ramseyer Miller, who has spearheaded her LGBTQ organization for nearly three decades.
At the beginning of “Generations,” the choir sings Pete Townshend’s delightful “My Generation,” arranged by Abi Moore, as the singers march down the aisles of the Ordway Concert Hall, signing various messages. was raised. There were climate action signs, transgender rights signs, signs that gave visibility to different generations represented by choirs. “Mixtapes and MTV” is another read.
The program included playful banter between the youngest and oldest members, like a duet between 85-year-old Lynn Larsen and 17-year-old Irene Weinhagen. The musical Annie Get Your Gun, with lyrics modified by Ramseyer Miller to cover the age tipping point of the two singers on topics such as insurance, Twitter and Mai Tais.
Similarly, “Teenagers Kick our Butts”, composed by Dar Williams and arranged by Ramsweyer Miller, accompanied by a video montage of youth activities, was a wonderful message to young people, coupled with whimsical air guitar playing.
The concert also looked back on the history of LGBTQ. Julian Hoenig’s emotional “And We Walked” highlighted the activism that erupted following Stonewall and its events. Written in a deep voice by composer Roger Borland and lyricist John Hall, “Left Behind” about the HIV epidemic powerfully tells the story of those who survived the worst of the AIDS crisis. Emily Nager Field conducted the song.
‘Left Behind’ was followed by ‘Amo’, a beautiful piece by Nico Gutierrez, with the poetry of his great-grandfather Mariano Melendro Serna set to music. The poem is about missing a loved one who has been left behind. It followed the work of the AIDS crisis, so it was a work that resonated with the spirit of that era. Guitiérrez’s work contains painful harmonies and is performed with a perfectly layered sound by the choir.
The video played a key role in the “Generation” concert, providing a vehicle for the voices of various members of the LGBTQ community to tell their stories. The song itself offered another avenue. Under the direction of Ramseyer Miller, the group’s phrasing aided the exquisite acoustics of the Ordway Concert Hall and helped elevate the language of each song. If you’re using the depth of poetry and lyrics as part, that’s important.
This was especially true of “Love, Death, What Else?” By Nathan Hall. This piece spotlighted the residents of Spirit Her On Her Lake apartment, which Barbara Satin established as an affordable living space for her LGBTQ elders. In the video, Satin talked about how Spirit on Lake’s vision has expanded to reach other communities in need of affordable housing. Other residents talk about loneliness, living with HIV, overcoming fear, finding love, and the many complexities of Hall’s quiet singularity, humor, and pathos. It was an attractive work with a unique and lively melody.
In addition to Hall’s tunes, the choir also performed the percussive “When Thunder Comes” commissioned by One Voice in 2016. The latter has been performed over 100 times by him around the world since the choir gave its world premiere. This kind of impact is a testament to Ramseyer Miller’s vision.
Next is a one-voice mixed chorus
- what: “Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra and One Voice”
- when: Saturday, March 11, 7:30 p.m.
- Where: O’Shaughnessy Auditorium, 2004 Randolph Avenue.
- tickets: $5-$40 at oshag.stkate.edu
- capsule: One Voice Mixed Chorus has teamed up with the Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra to
A performance called “Passion”.Concert includes both groups performing Nathan Hall
“Love, death, what else?!”