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CONVERSATION PIECE: Art Addressing Equity
Composer: Jacob Narverud
Title: Be The Change
Date of piece: World Premiere Performance on April 5, 2019
Link: YouTube Video
Description: Commissioned by Heartland Youth Choir for its 2019 Meet the Composer Festival, with support from the Iowa Arts Council, the SATB arrangement is sung at the festival by Heartland Youth Choir, Grinnell High School, Grand View University, and Valley Southwoods Freshman High School (West Des Moines). The song’s composer, the nationally renowned Jacob Narverud, is conducting and Kathy Gedler is playing piano.
“We submitt[ed] this song because its themes of hope, activism, and personal accountability support the Equity Challenge’s mission to decrease inequity through education. During the Equity Challenge, participants have been asked to take a hard and perhaps painful look at how inequity and racism affect our lives and our community. ‘Be the Change’ describes a very similar experience: someone faced with the selfishness and greed of this mad world, who moves through a fit of darkness and crying out loud to fighting out loud for peace, for justice, for hope, for love, for change. The journey is very similar to the journey the Equity Challenge can take participants on. We think it has the potential to empower participants to take next steps and to channel pain and anger into action.”