Children’s Music at Fleetwood-Jourdain
NSCS’ current outreach effort, Arts Reach Evanston, is bringing music to the children at Evanston’s Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center. As their after-school and summer camp have not included music, we are partnering with them to provide interactive music sessions with children from Kindergarten through 5th grade. With a grant from the Evanston Community Foundation, we have been able to purchase musical instruments for the center.
These photos show a recent session where NSCS volunteers introduced bucket drums, lummi sticks, and rhythm sticks.
Music for Social Change
In conjunction with our February 2017 concert, “Music for Social Change: Africa, America, and the Singing Revolution of Estonia,” NSCS offered a free community workshop led by musician, conductor, and educator Mollie Stone. The concert repertoire and the workshop itself both underscored how music has highlighted causes and effected change and how it helps people move through grief. Mollie shared her experience using music to educate the public in South Africa in the face of the AIDS crisis. She also taught songs in the oral tradition and got everyone singing and moving.
Songs of Peace
As NSCS prepared for its Chicago-area premiere of Larry Nickel’s Requiem for Peace in May 2016, we were inspired not only by its exciting and dynamic music but by its settings of poetry from war-torn nations from around the world. NSCS contacted Dr. Martin Luther King Arts School in Evanston to request peace-related children’s artwork to complement the concert. Students created peace mandalas and artwork incorporating lyrics reproduced from the music score.
For the performance at Pick-Staiger Hall, we collaborated with several peace groups in the Chicago area (such as Hands of Peace) and displayed information about their organizations the evening of the concert, echoing this powerful and transcendent work’s call for reconciliation.
Care for the Environment
At our Spring 2014 concert, NSCS performed Missa Gaia (Earth Mass), by the Paul Winter Consort. Missa Gaia is an environmental liturgy of contemporary music which celebrates the whole earth as a sacred place. In addition to the collaboration of choirs, instrumentalists, and recorded calls of wolves, whales, and loons, we included art in its other forms as well: an exhibit of paintings and sculpture, and musical interpretation by the enidsmithdance company.
Missa Gaia expresses love and respect for earth and all its creatures. This inspired us to use our members' contacts in the ecological community to pursue projects related to these themes: a recycled shoe drive, a Saturday work day in the forest preserve, and invitations to local ecological groups to exhibit their programs on the day of the concert.