Sections

Social singing: Youth chorus gets real in new concert

The sound of silence: The Brooklyn Youth Chorus will perform “Silent Voices” at BAM on May 12–13, a piece that was written in part by its members.
Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

They sing a song of themselves!

Members of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus will address issues close to their own lives in a new concert of original songs. The multi-media performance “Silent Voices,” at BAM on May 12–13, will feature tunes that highlight race, sexuality, and gender equality, created in a collaborative process between the teen singers and several composers and writers. The process gave the choristers a new connection and outlook on their art, said the founder of the Chorus.

“They were highly influential in what was written for them, and it makes them artists on another level — it’s different than having someone choosing the music for you,” said Dianne Berkun Menaker.

The young singers, all between the ages of 12 and 18, talked with music makers about the topics most important to them. The resulting 90-minute piece includes 13 songs by eight composers, all concerned with giving voice to those pushed aside by society, and other issues that are keenly felt by the young singers.

“The sub-themes deal largely with race, gender, sex, immigration, and these are issues that feel very relevant to our own population and part of what surrounds their own lives as urban children,” said Berkun Menaker.

The writing process began more than a year ago, and although these topics may seem like a reaction to current political topics, it just shows that certain issues remain prevalent regardless of era, said Berkun Menaker, who is also the group’s artistic director.

“It’s been many years in the conception phase, but when we launched and started engaging with artists and composers a year ago, at that point we envisioned a lot of the topics of today,” she said.

The songs not only reflect the issues faced by young people daily, but which anyone in the borough can relate to, said Berkun Menaker.

“They all live in the time and place of this environment, and for the Brooklyn Youth Chorus this is extraordinary, because it is the founding value of the Chorus to represent our borough and be inclusive of our population and the diversity of our membership,” she said. “This is a great opportunity to share a range of experiences and an ongoing range of discussion. We’re very excited to premiere this in Brooklyn — we hope it really resonates with people on multiple levels.”

“Silent Voices” at BAM Howard Gilman Opera House [30 Lafayette Ave. between Ashland Place and St. Felix Street in Fort Greene, (718) 636–4100, www.bam.org]. May 12–13 at 7:30 pm. $20–$35.

Updated 6:48 pm, May 11, 2017
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

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.

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your community:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!