This season, we use the power of music to unlock important issues that face our community. As an organization, we believe there is an important role for music to play in building awareness and empathy for topics that might be difficult to discuss. Choral music goes to the heart of humanity—words intertwine with music to express the human condition in both harmony and discord.
We have a tradition of looking to current community issues and needs to inform our programming, and this year we are creating two ambitious programs (our fall and spring concerts) that will bring deeper meaning to difficult issues.
Our fall concert is entitled Facing the Music (the unfamiliar truth about Human Trafficking: awareness, education, and hope). We will partner with the Fox Cities Sexual Assault Crisis Center and the Sex Trafficking Steering Committee to put together a choral concert and educational/outreach activities around the issues of prostitution and human trafficking. This is a risky project, but we believe through music, we will give voice to a topic that has been silenced by fear, shame, ignorance and the assumption that “it could never happen here.” Songs of power, outrage, hope and healing will proclaim that our community’s children are not for sale.
As of this writing, we are finalizing some details such as dates and locations, but our programming will go beyond the concert hall. Activities are being created in collaboration with the Sexual Assault Crisis Center and will include:
Panel Discussion: Sex Trafficking in the Fox Cities
Monday, October 5, 7:00 p.m., Appleton Public LIbrary
Members of the Sex Trafficking Steering Committee will discuss the issue of child sex trafficking in the Fox Cities and take your questions. Representatives from the Sexual Assault Crisis Center, law enforcement and the courts will be on hand to review the problem. FREE to the public.
Saturday, Oct. 24, 6:30 p.m. in Rm 156 in the Lawrence Conservatory
Members of the Sex Trafficking Steering Committee will talk of the scope of the problems in the Fox Cities and we will screen the short film “Chosen,” an anti-trafficking documentary about teens lured into the dangerous life.
Community book discussions
Join us for a community read of the book Girls Like Us by Rachel Lloyd and group discussions online and in person throughout the region. Book discussions will be held at the Appleton Public Library on these dates:
Monday, October 12 at 1:30 p.m.
Tuesday, October 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Developing music around this topic has been a challenge, but one that will leave you with a wider vision and deeper understanding. As we always do, our concert will feature a mix of genres including early sacred music, American folk songs, current compositions and songs from Godspell and some contemporary choral pieces. We will leave you with the words of one of our favorite pieces on the program, entitled “Do Something” by Matthew West:
If not us, then who/If not me and you
Right now, it’s time for us to do something
If not now, then when/Will we see an end
To all this pain/It’s not enough to do nothing
It’s time for us to do something