Constellation Men’s Ensemble fourth-annual NOVA new music series will be presented as an HD film experience premiering six vocal works exploring themes of house and home. Anyone with an Internet connection can attend this virtual New Original Vocal Art (NOVA) performance.
Constellation Men’s Ensemble (CME) will premiere composer Sean Ellis Hussey’s vocal oratorio about the nation’s foster care system. Mr. Hussey spent three years interviewing people within the foster care system about their stories, their struggles, and their successes. In his score, interviewees telling their stories serve as electronic interludes, while ensemble singers provide the narration, singing quotes from data, news articles, and legislation about the foster care system. Cook County is the third-largest foster care system in the nation.
“We’re excited to put an artist spotlight on the foster care system. The way that we do or don’t provide aid, compassion, and dignity to our youth directly relates to our society as a whole,” says CME Executive Director Ryan Townsend Strand. “This is a topic that many people have no knowledge about but that directly affects them. We’re excited to bring these stories to light through music and interviews.”
All of the newly composed music in the concert explores themes of shelter, displacement, and reunion within and without the four walls of a house. In addition to the premiere, CME will perform other world premieres by Alex Berko, Rachel DeVore Fogarty, Daniel E. Gawthrop, Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek, and Andrey Stolyarov.
The concert will be filmed in HD by Atlas Arts Media in a parking garage to visualize the stark and desolate reality of what home can sometimes feel like in the foster care system: a place of constant turnover. Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music allowed the filming over two weekends to support the project.