Beethoven for Refugees
"Ode to Joy" at Hill
by Davi Napoleon
From the September, 2017 issue
Musicians Take A Stand (MTAS), a nonprofit, and the Phoenix Ensemble, devoted to music education and advocacy, are hosting a performance of Beethoven's Ninth at Hill Auditorium September 10 (see Events). The event is free, but an afterglow party at Zingerman's Greyline will raise money for two refugee aid groups, Freedom House Detroit and the International Rescue Committee.
MTAS organizer Austin Stewart, an opera singer and musicologist, says musicians love to perform a great work for an important cause. Among others, he's signed up volunteer players from the Detroit Symphony, Michigan Opera Theatre, Ann Arbor Symphony, and Flint Symphony, and singers from the UMS Choral Union and U-M music students and faculty.
Beethoven's Ninth was an easy choice, not only because of its musical importance, but because "it is about our common humanity," says Stewart. "Throughout its entire history, it has shown up as an anthem for brotherhood." MTAS, which has a sister organization in Los Angeles, plans to create a national movement that enlists musicians in humanitarian causes.
[Originally published in September, 2017.]
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