Not Your Typical Holiday Concert

Windsong, Cleveland's Feminist Chorus had a full house last night for its concert, "Room at the Table." In an unusual departure from the distraction of many concerts held during the holiday season, the chorus did not shy away from its feminist perspective. The group performed poignant songs depicting the ways that individuals and policies keep people from fully experiencing freedom. Large and small ensemble performances included a rendition of the Emma Lazarus poem, "New Colossus," Jan C. Snow's arrangement of "Deportee," Carrie Newcomber's "Room at the Table," and the rollicking "We are Family," by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards. Heather Russell directed,  Karin Tooley accompanied on acoustic and electronic pianos. Chorus intern Machala Comenschek directed "Marie," aided by the lilting vibe of Mary Beth Ions's violin. Mirana Faudree lent percussion throughout the night. New member Michelle Guzowski shared an original piece she wrote about her journey as a trans woman. Soloist Didi Franklyn brought the house down in "Help Somebody," and Sara Schreck melted everyone's hearts in "River," by Joan Szymko. Other soloists focused attention on what it means to have a place at the table: Kathi Rosen, Heather Russell, Kirsten Dickerson and Kelly Camlin. Narrator Argerie Vasilakes ended with a hopeful view that we all play a collective role to make more room at our family table. "This is why we keep coming to Windsong," said a long-time audience member. "We knew we weren't going to hear Jingle Bells!" Windsong's next concert, May 5, 2019, continues its 40th anniversary celebration with the theme: "Are We There Yet?"

Photo Credit: Janice Kushner