Melodia Women’s Choir presents “To Dream a World” in hopes of positive change
by Peri Margolies for Vocal Area Network
Posted May 12, 2021

Melodia Women's ChoirOn the heels of their November virtual concert, “Songs of Love & Hope”, Melodia Women’s Choir makes an enthusiastic return with "To Dream a World,” a free YouTube Premiere event happening Saturday, May 22 at 7:30 PM ET, and Sunday, May 23, at 2 PM ET. The program features three new virtual choir pieces with piano and string quartet, including Norwegian-American composer Ola Gjeilo’s Days of Beauty, Carly Simon’s “Let the River Run” from Working Girl, and I Dream a World by André J. Thomas. Featured on these recordings are pianist Taisiya Pushkar, violinists Emilie-Anne Gendron and Clara Kim, violist Stephanie Griffin and cellist Laura Andrade.

Melodia Artistic Director Cynthia Powell comments, “As we emerge from a pandemic that has had a monumental effect on all our lives, and on the music, arts and theater community, we know that things have been indelibly changed, that we must change, and dream a world that is based on love, acceptance and the greater good of all humanity.”

In particular, Thomas’s I Dream a World inspired not only the title of the concert, but the spirit and theme as a whole. Based on the powerful poem written by renowned American poet Langston Hughes, Melodia brings an extra layer of evocation and wonder through their crystal-clear tones that provide the listener with overarching feelings of hope and peace. Powell says, “We wanted to address musically the current situation that has arisen from the many social justice issues that have come forward since last March,” referencing events such as the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. “We knew these issues had to be a part of our message,” she adds.

Additionally, the program incorporates favorite performances from the Melodia video archives, including “The Angel'' from Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Six Choruses for Female Voices & Piano, and excerpts from Gloria by Antonio Vivaldi. Also featured is longtime Melodia pianist Taisiya Pushkar with her rendition of Clouds by Florence B. Price. Following her fall performance of Price’s To a Yellow Rose, she celebrates the first female African-American composer to have her work played by a major orchestra in the United States.

This special presentation serves as a reminder of the meaningful impact that the group has had on singers and listeners alike, as well as the ensemble’s endless commitment and dedication. Despite the challenges brought by COVID-19, the choir remains focused and engaged. “Over the past [fourteen] months, Melodia Women’s Choir has met almost every Monday at our regular time, warming up our bodies and voices, singing and learning music, and enjoying one another's company,” says Powell. The New York City ensemble looks forward to being able to perform live again, but relishes the fact that they can still create beautiful music together. Join Melodia Women’s Choir as they share their thoughtful program, reflecting on the world as it stands and bringing hope for a better future.

Watch “To Dream a World,” Saturday, May 22, 2021, streaming at 7:30 PM ET and Sunday, May 23, 2021, streaming at 2:00 PM ET. Free registration for the concert can be found here, where viewing information will be provided. All attendees are invited to a short Zoom session following the concerts. For additional information, please visit melodiawomenschoir.org/.

Peri Margolies handles publicity for Melodia Women's Choir.