Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Tucson.com: Tucson choir kicks off first indoor performance with composers of color, featuring Adolphus Hailstork's "The Cloths of Heaven"

Adolphus Hailstork

Arizona Daily Star

Cathalena E. Burch

July 12, 2021

Benjamin Hansen didn’t realize how much he missed waving his baton with an audience to his back.

“It’s therapy for me,” said the founder and conductor of the Helios Ensemble.

On Sunday, July 18, Hansen will get an hour’s worth of much-needed therapy when he leads 45 members of his 7-year-old Tucson choir. It is the group’s first indoor concert with a live audience since the COVID-19 pandemic struck in March 2020. 


Hansen will lead Helios Ensemble in a program of choral masterworks including Stephen Paulus’ “Pilgrim’s Hymn,” Whitacre’s “Go, Lovely Rose,” excerpts from Barber’s “Reincarnations” and sections from Vaughan Williams’ “Songs of Travels.”

The program also includes Black composer Adolphus Hailstork’s “The Cloths of Heaven,” conducted by James Higgs, a University of Arizona doctoral student, and several songs for solo voices, including Black composer Undine Smith Moore’s “Mother to Son,” to be sung by mezzo-soprano Julia Powers; and Korean American composer Hak Jun Yoon’s “On the Way,” to be sung by soprano Chunghee Lee. 

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