Although many might think so, protest songs didn’t just spring to life during the Civil Rights and Anti-Vietnam War movements of the 1960s. Bob Dylan, Odetta and Joan Baez weren’t the first to use music as a way to demand social justice.
There were protest songs during the Civil War, in the Labor Movement of the early 1900s, during the Depression and racial lynchings of the 1930s, through McCarthyism and nuclear weapon proliferation of the 1950s.
And they’re still be written and performed today.
On Friday, the UTC Women’s Chorale and Men’s Chorus are offering a concert of music around the theme of Social Justice. Set for 7:30 p.m. in the Roland Hayes Concert Hall, the performance is free and will include:
- Songs by Pete Seeger, Simon and Garfunkel, Andre Thomas, Irving Berlin and others.
- A musical setting of the 1896 poem “We Wear the Mask” by the African-American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar. It has been arranged for women’s voices, cello and piano and the music was composed by Jonathan McNair, UC Foundation professor in the department of Music.
- A traditional Iraqi song for peace, accompanied by percussion.
- Combined women’s and men’s voices in works by Mendelssohn and others.
Musical direction is by Professors Alison Allerton and Perry Ward from the Department of Performing Arts. Pianists include Jenny Parker, adjunct instructor of Performing Arts and Music, and students Lindsay Betts and Autumn Skiles.
Sharon Reed will be featured on cello, along with Professor Monte Coulter from the Department of Performing Arts and student Matt Gardner on percussion.