The Chattanooga Boys Choir hosts a special musical event commemorating the International Day of Peace, also known as “World Peace Day” on Sunday, September 22 in Patten Chapel on the campus of the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.
Partnering with a special ensemble of local music educators assembled to expand the repertoire of this event, the choirs will present pieces from across different cultures, languages, and musical styles to promote the cause of piece through the powerful medium of music.
The boys choir will present songs including Al Shlosha D’Varim by Allan Naplan, the text of which is taken from the Pirkei Avot (Jewish morality laws) which translate: “The world is sustained by three things: by truth, by justice, and by peace.” The choir will also perform contemporary composer Cristy Cary Miller’s setting of the text Dona Nobis Pacem (“Grant Us Peace”) and an arrangement of the beloved Sy Miller tune Let There Be Peace on Earth. The choir is also presenting musical settings of evocative peace-themed texts including Mahatma Gandhi’s “Bet he Change You Want to See in the World” and Andrea Ramsey’s “I Lift My Voice.”
Chattanooga Boys Choir members are also especially proud to present local composer Ethan McGrath’s composition Malala’s Dream, which is a setting of inspiring words of Malala Yousafzai, the young schoolgirl who was attacked by the Taliban in 2012 for voicing her support of equal treatment and opportunities for young women in Pakistan. In surviving the attack and continuing to speak out against injustice, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 at just 17 years old.
Members of the project choir – comprised of music educators from around the region – will present Moses Hogan’s arrangement of the African-American Spiritual Deep River and the original composition Prayer by René Clausen, which is based on a text by Mother Teresa of Calcutta. The group will perform Wana Baraka, a joyful expression of hope and health from Kenya and Javier Busto’s Et in Terra Pax (“And on earth, peace”). This ensemble will also present McGrath’s setting of Every Valley Shall Be Exalted, with a text from Psalm 140 that was highlighted in Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech in August of 1963.
The program will close with all in attendance to join the choir in a recording of Ukuthla, a South African song of peace that has become a centerpiece of the #AVoice4Peace movement. The song will be taught on site prior to the start of the concert. This event is free and open to the public.