As protests sweep across the nation, Cantare’s efforts remained focused, as they always have, on our mission: to foster a community of compassion and understanding across generational, cultural, racial and economic boundaries. We use choral singing as a medium for unification that enables us to treat one another with dignity and respect. The horrific killings of Ahmaud Aubrey, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd have generated an emotional depression that fills many of us with grief and despair. Throughout our nation we are now seeing the destruction of local businesses in response to endless oppression and injustice, rage coming from that same place as the grief and despair. We acknowledge that racism, whether conscious or unconscious, continues to define our nation’s history.
Black Lives Matter. We stand together with those in our Cantare family, particularly the thousands of children we engage through our music offerings, as they endure societal and economic oppression exacerbated by the fallout from COVID-19 and this growing national awareness of the injustice African Americans continue to experience. The latter is not news to them. When a group of white men can safely protest in cities throughout our country while armed with guns, but black professional football players lose their jobs for peacefully taking a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, we are confronted with the reality of the racism, privilege and oppression in our nation.
Below is the song “Homeward Bound”, performed the Chorale in our June 2017 concert. I am aware that “home” is not simply defined by location, nationality, or cultural roots. While these impact who I am, I recognize that home for me must be marked by understanding, humility, respect, acceptance, compassion, support, access and justice. Returning home reminds me that these characteristics must be in play for me and for all those whom I engage, without restrictions.