Black Tulip Chorale closes its second season with a performance celebrating more than 500 years of music from LGBTQIA2+ artists, ranging from art songs and arias to 21st century pop music. Featured artists for the “Our Song” concert include Grammy award winner Christine Brewer and members of the St. Louis Wind Symphony.
Production manager Ken Haller explains, “Throughout history, there have been poets, composers, writers who have not fit into categories that today we would call heterosexual or cisgender. In centuries past, these artists may not have had a language or even a self-concept that would embody those transgressive feelings. So they had to create that. They had to create, in essence, themselves. This is what artists do; they take their experience and create a new, expanded reality. In this concert we look at creators who did not fit into conventional categories around sex and gender and love, and in expressing their truth, they found a way to create themselves, and over time, they helped to create us.”
The chorale will feature music from four continents, in four languages, with selections from queer, transgender, lesbian, gay, and bisexual artists. Black Tulip’s performance specifically includes works from Latinx and African-American composers including Billy Strayhorn, Mari Esabel Valverde, Elena Maria Walsh, and Julius Eastman.
The organization is committed to ensuring access to its performances regardless of economic status by keeping its productions free to the public, and appreciates any financial support that any audience and community members can give to keep its mission going. Haller explained that Black Tulip is an LGBTQIA2+ organization welcoming singers of all expressions, genders, identities, orientations, and ethnic communities that advocates for social awareness through choral music.
“The Black Tulip Chorale is committed to social justice expressed through the lens of excellent musical presentation of classic repertoire. It held its first concert in June 2018, and in its short life it has already been one of two recipients out of twenty applicants of a prestigious $10,000 2019 StARTup Prize from the Arts & Education Council of Greater St. Louis and the PNC Bank Foundation.” Haller said.
This free event is at 8:00 pm on Saturday, November 16 at the 560 Music Center (Washington University), 560 Trinity Avenue in University City.