WHAT IS "21C"? When asked what the “21C” means, our singers joke around quite a lot, but its meaning lies in the mission to engage with the contemporary world—“21C” signifying the twenty-first century.
We imagine the choir as a locus for creativity, compassion, justice, resistance, empowerment, and equity.
In realizing this vision, we are constantly evolving as an ensemble while remaining committed to:
VOICES 21C seeks to combine technical proficiency with creativity and compassion, creating meaning in performance by connecting musical messages to social justice issues in the US and abroad, representing the voices of the silenced, the forgotten, and the marginalized.
VOICES 21C’s work builds on existing and co-created works to create a long-form and cohesive narrative blending the choral art with imaginative and innovative practices, borrowing from kinesthetic art and theatre. VOICES 21C embraces and expands on the Empowering Song Approach, an arts pedagogy focused on creating justice-centered artistic spaces, prioritizing deep personal expression and vulnerability within creative work.
VOICES 21C utilizes a shared leadership model, meaning every member is on an even playing field with the artistic director and can contribute to any degree during the rehearsal process. Decision-making is by consensus. VOICES 21C also has a leadership team of around eight volunteer members who collaborate on most financial, artistic, communication, and logistical decisions.
VOICES 21C's debut project was the CHORALP Festival in Briançon France, where their program focused on international immigration, Pain and Promise, was received with considerable acclaim. Their work includes numerous appearances in the greater Boston area, as well as their 2017 tour of "Here I Am" in Israel and Palestine, and 2018's "Somehow This Madness Must Cease" in Cuernavaca and Mexico City created to draw attention to the tensions between Mexico and the US.
Their 2019 performances sought to create visibility for the feminine, bringing their program "Half the Sky" to audiences of thousands on invitation to Europe's largest choral festival, "Les Choralies" in Vaison-la-Romaine, France. In March of 2020, their program “We Who Believe in Freedom Cannot Rest” featuring artist, writer, and activist Halim Flowers, tackled issues of forced migration, feminine identity, and racial violence, and was received on invitation at the American Choral Directors Association's Eastern Division conference. Since their inaugural year, VOICES 21C has annually represented prison narratives and has worked with formerly incarcerated people in performance. The group has also performed an annual Islamic program as part of the multicultural and interfaith concert, The Voices of Freedom, annually presented by Boston’s Center for Jewish Culture.
You can learn more about past projects by selecting the project year and title within our projects tab.