Sections

Song of the son: Youth chorus sings notes from a father

Sweet songs of youth: The Brooklyn Youth Chorus’s Men’s Ensemble will perform at National Sawdust on Jan. 8.
Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

Let’s hear it from the boys!

A chorus of young men will give voice to the troubles facing boys growing up in a chaotic world, in the first part of a concert series of socially aware new tunes. “Amplify,” playing at National Sawdust on Jan. 8 as part of the Ferus Festival of new work, will feature the Brooklyn Youth Chorus’s Concert Ensemble and its Men’s Ensemble, which includes male singers aged 12 to 21. The latter group will sing words drawn from a letter from a black father to his son, the first song in “A Songbook for Social Justice,” according to its composer.

“It’s a collection of songs I’m composing, each one by a different writer created around issues concerning social justice, equity, and incarcerat­ion,” said National Sawdust curator Daniel Bernard Roumain, who has previously written songs for the youth choir. For this song, Roumain took a letter that spoken-word poet and playwright Marc Bamuthi Joseph wrote for his son, and set the words to music.

The song is especially appropriate for an ensemble of young men, said Roumain, because they are still struggling to define themselves.

“This ensemble is all men, teens. I think young men are being challenged in a lot of ways to think and rethink who they are, their relationships to one another, even sexuality,” said Roumain, who lives in Prospect Lefferts Gardens.

A lot of the composer’s music incorporates hip-hop, rap, and R&B, and this song includes elements of artists Frank Ocean and Drake, said Roumain, which also helps the number appeal to its young performers.

“As a composer my only job is to write well for their voices,” he said. “My other job is to listen to them and write songs they want to sing and that echoes the music we are all listening to.”

Roumain has not actually heard the young men sing his song yet, but is confident it will be glorious.

“There’s no question they are going to sing it really well,” he said. “I’m excited to work with them again.”

The Brooklyn Youth Chorus concert will also feature songs composed by two other National Sawdust figures: the venue’s co-founder and artistic director Paola Prestini, and current artist-in-residence Angélica Negrón; along with work from other contemporary composers.

“Amplify” at National Sawdust (80 N. Sixth St. between Wythe and Kent avenues in Williamsburg, www.nationalsawdust.org). Jan. 8 at 8 pm. $29.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Posted 12:00 am, December 31, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:


Reasonable discourse

Dad says:
Age discrimination !
Dec. 31, 2018, 11:35 am

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Hey there, Brooklyn Daily reader!

Yes, you’re in the right place — Brooklyn Paper is the new online home of BrooklynDaily.com.

So bookmark this page, and remember check it throughout the day for the latest stories from your neighborhood — and across this great borough of ours.