Unity in the Community Concert Joins Together Monroe Area Through Song

Apr 13, 2018

The 1st Annual Unity in the Community Concert is Saturday, April 14 at 7 p.m. at Lea Joyner Memorial United Methodist Church. The goal of the concert is to build bridges between people by highlighting their similarities through shared performance and meaningful text.

Dr. Judy Bowers, the current holder of the Emy-Lou Biedenharn Chair in Music Education at ULM, brought Dr. Brandon Boyd to Monroe to help her fulfill a vision of more unity in the Monroe community. Dr. Boyd is the Assistant Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Choral Music Education at the University of Missouri. His research focus is organizing choirs that center around community, whether that be with the homeless, senior citizens, or the incarcerated.

Soprano soloist Dr. Claire Vangelisti rehearses with Dr. Brandon Boyd.
Credit Ali Owens / KEDM

"At this concert, we're going to share some European traditions, African traditions, and music that comes from the African-American tradition," says Dr. Boyd. "We're able to put all the music in a melting pot and explore, learn, and give what we can with it." He expresses how he believes this can help bring together the community, saying, "What better way than with music?"

"It's going to be a diverse program," Dr. Bowers chimes in. "All of the music has uplifting lyrics and challenges us to ask ourselves what we have in common and what we can appreciate about each other." She touches on the timeliness of a concert like this, saying "What better than to have people come together to share and know that they are supported."

The Unity in the Community Concert is Saturday, April 14 at 7 p.m. at Lea Joyner Memorial United Methodist Church. If you would like to be part of the choir, the rehearsals are Saturday, April 14 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1:30-3:30 p.m. The choir meets together again at 6 p.m. before the concert. This event is entirely free to the community.