Halalisa Singers Present Music Down in My Soul Concerts

The Halalisa Singers present Music Down in My Soul:  Songs of hope and spirit from around the world, on Saturday, April 8, 8 pm at Follen Community Church, 755 Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington, and on Sunday, April 9, 3 pm, First Parish of Watertown, 35 Church Street.  The world music choral ensemble is led by Artistic Director Mary Cunningham, accompanied by Trevor Berens, piano and Bertram Lehmann, percussion.

Music Down in My Soul features heartfelt, joyful selections to inspire hopefulness, strength in action and togetherness for both the audience and singers.  Focusing on music with lyrics including We keep our dreams alive, together we survive’, the program brims with positive spirit and inspirational messages.  This soulful mix of spirituals, gospel, and contemporary choral music spans 300 years of courage and resistance from the Americas, Yemen, China, Tanzania, and South Africa, sung in Mandarin, Spanish, Hebrew, Swahili and Zulu. These are songs of praise bursting with positive energy, dynamic contrasts, captivating solos, exciting percussion, and a wide range of layered vocal textures.

Listeners will delight in popular favorites including Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”, “I Sing Because I’m Happy” (His Eye is on the Sparrow) adapted by Rollo Dilworth, “Hold On!” by Moses Hogan, and lesser known, uplifting inspirations including “Soon Love, Soon” by Vienna Teng and “The Storm Is Passing Over” by Charles Albert Tindley.  Concert highlights include the world premiere of George Emlen and Noel Paul Stookey’s new arrangement of the classic “American the Beautiful” and the reprise performance of the Halalisa 20th anniversary commission “We Sing” by Brian Tate.

The Halalisa Singers are dedicated to the performance of music across all cultures and nationalities. Halalisa is a Zulu word for “celebration,” and in that spirit, the Halalisa repertoire includes African, Latin, American Spiritual, Gospel, Jewish, Folk, and Jazz music. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mary Cunningham, this Lexington-based group is now in its twenty-third year, offering performances throughout the Boston area. The group is inspired by the belief that music is a universal language with the power to uplift and unite all.

Artistic Director Mary Cunningham has led the Halalisa Singers since the fall of 2004, creating and directing 26 unique and vibrant world music-themed choral concerts to date. Following her vision to share their music across the Boston area, Halalisa reaches out to wider audiences, performing an ever-expanding repertoire. Cunningham is well known in the Boston area as an active choral conductor, vocalist, and flute soloist. She is the Music Director at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Reading, a member of the American Choral Directors Association and the UU Musicians Network. A frequent performer with the Christmas Revels, Mary is on the faculty of the Powers Music School in Belmont, and has a private teaching studio in her Lexington home.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for students and senior citizens online at www.brownpapertickets.com or at the door.  For more information about Halalisa Singers, visit www.halalisa.org, or follow us on Facebook.

About Halalisa Singers

Formed in 1993 by renowned song leader and Mystic Chorale director Nick Page, the Halalisa Singers are dedicated to the performance of music across all cultures and nationalities. Halalisa is a Zulu word for “celebration,” and in that spirit, the Halalisa repertoire includes African, Latin, American Spiritual, Gospel, Jewish, Folk, and Jazz music. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mary Cunningham, this Lexington-based vocal ensemble is now in its twenty-third year offering unique performances in the Boston area. A talented group of over thirty men and women from 18 different communities, the Halalisa Singers are inspired by the belief that music is a universal language with the power to uplift and unite us all.  For more information about Halalisa Singers, visit www.halalisa.org, or follow us on Facebook.