Voices Rising United

Performed by members of the UMKC Conservatory Choirs and Xiangyu Zhao (piano), conducted by Michael Robert Patch

Instrumentation: SSAA chorus and piano

Duration: ca. 4 minutes 30 seconds

Text: “Voices Rising United” by Debra Seely (2013). Used by permission of the author.

Year composed: 2014

Place composed: Kansas City, Missouri

Dedication: Composed for Michael Patch and the Kansas City Women’s Chorus

Program Notes: Voices Rising United is based on the story and words of Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani activist, advocate for women’s rights and education, and the youngest person ever to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Michael Patch, the conductor and artistic director of the Kansas City Women’s Chorus, commissioned the piece in the fall of 2013. The text, adapted from Malala’s own words, was written by Kansas author and poet Debra Seely. The music utilizes harmonies idiomatic to pop music, as well as vocal sound effects and spoken elements. The Kansas City Women’s Chorus premiered the piece on May 31, 2014, at the Folly Theater in Kansas City, Missouri.