Rachel DeVore Fogarty, Gwyneth Walker, Sarah Hopkins and Elizabeth Alexander are acclaimed composers whose music you may have never heard. MUSE, Cincinnati’s Women’s Choir, provides an opportunity to do so Saturday with two concerts titled Here and Aware, featuring the music of female composers at Saint Francis Seraph Church in Over-the-Rhine.
The concert’s opener puts it right out there with Dianne Reeves’ “Endangered Species,” a defiant chant about a woman’s place in the world, followed by “Let Us Now Hold Hands,” a piece MUSE commissioned in 1995 from Dr. Jennifer Stasack with a text by Cincinnati poet Pat Mora. Another powerful piece is Elizabeth Alexander’s “Reasons for the Perpetuation of Slavery,” a three-part meditation on human complicity in “the price of keeping the prices low.”
Juliano has previously led the Seattle Women’s Chorus in Sarah Hopkins’ “Past Life Melodies,” and she was anxious for MUSE to learn the piece. DeVore Fogarty will take the audience to the skies with “Flying,” set to a text by Amelia Earhart.
Other songs include “Mountain Song/Kentucky Woman” by activist Holly Near, “I Need to Wake Up” by Melissa Etheridge, “Mother’s Prayer” by Connie Kaldor and “Now I Become Myself” by Gwyneth Walker. The legendary Carole King’s “I Feel the Earth Move” is the concert finale.
MUSE presents Here and Aware at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday at Saint Francis Seraph Church in Over-the-Rhine. Tickets: musechoir.org.