Letters to Our Children: Voices across Generations for LGBTQ+ Youth
Coro Allegro, Boston’s LGBTQ+ and allied classical chorus, presents Letters to Our Children: Voices across Generations for LGBTQ+ Youth, Sunday, November 6, 3 pm, at Old South Church, 645 Boylston St., Boston. Coro Allegro proudly presents the world premiere of award-winning composer Andrea Clearfield’s HERE I AM: I AM HERE, a powerful and timely cantata inspired by two moving open letters, to a transgender child and to a survivor of conversion therapy, by prominent LGBTQ+ youth advocates Mimi Lemay and Sam Brinton. Mimi Lemay’s “A Letter to My Son Jacob on His 5th Birthday,”, which went viral in 2015, movingly describes her family’s path to understanding and affirming their transgender son. Sam Brinton addresses their letter to their younger self, thanking them for surviving their mother’s desperate but misguided attempts to save them, and assuring them “there is nothing to change,” that they are loved for exactly who they are.
Inspired by these moving letters, and by Andrea Clearfield’s premiere, Coro Allegro has launched a Letters Project in partnership with the Boston Alliance of LGBTQ+ Youth (BAGLY), the Mass Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC), and other organizations. The project is an open call for letters in support of queer and transgender youth and their families at this dangerous time when the rights of LGBTQ+ youth are under attack.
The premiere of HERE I AM: I AM HERE features advocates Mimi Lemay and Sam Brinton as narrators, with guest artists Sonja DuToit Tengblad, soprano, Jonas Budris, tenor, the Arneis String Quartet, and pianist Yulia Yun.
Coro Allegro will further explore the intimate power of the human voice and spirit through Ronald Perera’s setting of poems on music by Walter de la Mare, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Emily Dickinson, and contemporary Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo’s lush, soaring settings of “Dark Night of the Soul,” by the 16th-century mystic St. John of the Cross, and “Luminous Night of the Soul” by St. John of the Cross and acclaimed lyricist, author, and composer Charles Anthony Silvestri.
The 14th annual Daniel Pinkham Award will be presented to Sam Brinton for their work to end the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy.
For tickets, more information, and to submit letters to the Letters Project, visit: coroallegro.org
Ronald Perera When Music Sounds
Ola Gjeilo, Dark Night of the Soul
Gjeilo, Luminous Night of the Soul
Andrea Clearfield, HERE I AM: I AM HERE (world premiere)
Sonja DuToit Tengblad, soprano
Jonas Budris, tenor
Mimi Lemay, narrator
Sam Brinton, narrator
The Arneis Quartet:
Heather Braun, Rose Drucker, violins
Daniel Doña, viola • Agnes Kim, cello
Yulia Yun, piano
A $65, B $40, C $25
Seniors/Students 20% off
Student Special C: $15
More information and discounts for community groups can be arranged by contacting: firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling 617-236-4011.
The concert is sponsored by Steve Vorenberg & Kerry Marshall, with grants from the Mass Cultural Council, Choral Arts New England, and the Equality Fund of the Boston Foundation.