Posted on September 24, 2011 by Michael
MOS is beginning its 23rd Season of music making and is doing so with a newly “tweaked” mission statement. I say “tweaked” because the new mission statement contains only minor adjustments from our previous statement. However, we hope this new version will even better express who we are and what we endeavor to accomplish as a community arts organization. Here it is:
The Michael O’Neal Singers organization seeks to engage, educate and enrich Atlanta-area singers and audiences with compelling choral experiences which are innovative, multicultural and multigenerational.
So, how do we go about doing all these things? Obviously, “to engage, educate and enrich” means we will be striving to attract and hold the attention of our audiences and singers, to inform and enlighten them, and ultimately to add greater value and significance to their lives. Our mission statement further suggests that we will do this with “compelling choral experiences.” The word ‘compelling’ has been used with serious intent, for it suggests something having a powerful and irresistible effect. We wish to have that effect on our audiences and singers with experiences which are “innovative, multicultural and multigenerational.”
To be innovative, multicultural and multigenerational requires a definite plan. We’ll be innovative this season by performing two recently composed large works – The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass by Carol Barnett and Let My People Go: A Spiritual Journey Along the Underground Railroad by Donald McCullough. We’ll be multicultural by performing Let My People Go with a highly respected African-American ensemble fromSouth Fulton. Finally, we’ll be multigenerational by partnering with community ensembles comprising children, youth and adults.
These are ways MOS is making an effort to be relevant to our 21st century culture and community. To do less would be a disservice to both.
Filed under: Choral experiences | Tagged: Bluegrass Mass, compelling, mission statement, MOS, multigenerational, The Michael O'Neal Singers, underground railroad | Leave a Comment »
Posted on September 11, 2011 by Michael
On this Tenth Anniversary of 9/11 our thoughts and memories are both individual and universal. For many of us who live our lives surrounded by music, either as a vocation or avocation, there seems to be some solace in performing or hearing music that supports those thoughts and memories. It was Leonard Bernstein, Conductor of the New York Philharmonic, who, following the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963, gave this answer to a reporter as to why the orchestra would perform almost immediately after that national tragedy: “This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.”
Maestro Bernstein’s words resonate with me, for I find that at times of great impact in my life, whether joyful or sad, I am strengthened by music. On this day, all around these great United States of America, there will be beautiful and meaningful music performed in worship services and special memorial concerts that will help people sort through the myriad emotions and feelings associated with 9/11. In my own church service, the choir will perform three selections that speak in different, yet unifying, ways about this day. Once to Every Man and Nation by David Stanley York, We Remember Them by Donald McCullough, and Make Me a Channel of Your Peace (Prayer of St. Francis) by Sebastian Temple will, I hope, assist all in attendance as they recall the past, respond to the present, and hope for the future.
Are there pieces that are especially meaningful to you at this time of remembrance?
Filed under: Choral experiences | Tagged: 9/11, Bernstein, David Stanley York, Donald McCullough, Kennedy assassination, New York Philharmonic, President Kennedy, Sebastan Temple | 4 Comments »