The concert, featuring love songs and songs about love, is a celebration and affirmation of the right to love—and if you choose, to marry—the one you love. The concert follows on the heels of the MN Marriage Amendment (on the Nov 6 ballot). Echoes of Peace is one of over 100 Minnesota arts organizations that have joined Minnesota Citizens for the Arts to voice opposition to the marriage amendment.
In addition to the 70+ member Echoes of Peace Choir, director Sara Thomsen and her partner, Paula Pedersen, will be featured singers at the performance. “As a singer, I am often asked to sing at weddings,” says Thomsen. “The irony of singing songs to honor something to which I am not legally entitled—in Minnesota—is not lost on me. I wanted to respond to what is truly a hurtful amendment by singing love songs and songs about love that are a blast to sing, and to do so with my ‘unlawfully’ wedded partner (though we are legally married in Iowa!), in community with others, and in clear affirmation, recognition and honoring of all loving and committed relationships. Including my own.”
Other special guests for the performance include Twin Cities based vocal artist Sarah M. Greer and pianist Ryan Frane, UMD Jazz Studies Director. Songs include Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire,” Elvis Presley’s “Don’t Be Cruel,” The Monotone’s “Book of Love”, Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me” and many more.
Concert proceeds will benefit Together for Youth which has served hundreds of LGBTQ and allied youth in the greater Duluth area for over 17 years. A social and support group, LSS (Lutheran Social Services) Together For Youth has met weekly throughout this time at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in the Central Hillside neighborhood. Other services Together for Youth offers include one-on-one support, advocacy, educational outreach and maintenance of an LGBTQ Youth Resource Directory. A focus of the group is exploration of queer history with intention to foster engagement with our region’s LGBTQ elders.
The Echoes of Peace Choir is a non-audition community choir motivated by its mission to inspire awareness, action and reflection among choir and audience members on critical social issues, using music and the arts to build and bridge informed, engaged and caring communities.