Out of Many, One Mixed Voice

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A chorus singing, all dressed in black with green scarves.

One Voice Mixed Chorus. Photo by Terry Gydesen

One Voice FINAL.mp3

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For 30 years, St. Paul, Minnesota’s One Voice Mixed Chorus has been building community by raising their voices in song. The largest LGBTA (the A is for allies) chorus in the nation, One Voice received a 2016 Challenge America grant from the NEA to not only expand on their inventive Out in Our Schools outreach program in area schools, but also to mount a concert at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. As part of both efforts, One Voice brought in the talented string quartet, Well-Strung, to work with Johnson High School students and perform with One Voice at the Ordway.

In a nod to Well-Strung, the concert was titled “Well-Versed,” an ambitious affair that combined both poetry and song. It featured the world premiere of a four-movement composition, Still Standing, with poetry written and recited by National Poetry Slam Champion Sierra DeMulder and music by acclaimed Minnesota composer George Maurer.

I spoke with One Voice’s Artistic Director Jane Ramseyer Miller and former Johnson High School student YuFeng Xiong to talk about the power of education, song, and the collective voice.

A very, very special thanks to One Voice’s Executive Director Christopher Taykalo for his input and for his tremendous help in coordinating the interviews.