LCO Pride: A Rainbow of Repertoire

LOWELL, Mass., May 23, 2022 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — The Lowell Chamber Orchestra is proud to present “LCO Pride: A Rainbow of Repertoire” on Sunday, June 5, 2022 at Middlesex Community College in Lowell, Massachusetts. This chamber concert will celebrate Pride Month by showcasing LGBTQ+ composers from the Lowell area and around the world.

Creative director of LCO, Em Russell, states that putting on this concert has been a dream of the theirs since the orchestra’s very first season! As well as works by Jean-Baptiste Lully, Benjamin Britten, this concert will showcase a World Premiere by composer Julia Moss, featuring soloist mezzo-soprano Julianna Smith, as well as exciting works by four other living composers.

Queer people have made many significant contributions to the classical music community, yet their identities are often concealed. This concert is meant to embrace and celebrate these identities, which we hope can one day become the norm in classical music culture.

Stylistically, this concert really has something for everyone, from poetry lovers to rock metal-heads. While Kevin Lubin’s string quartet “The Flower Shop” includes a spoken narration with words by Virginia Woolf; Hannah Rice has written a Heavy Metal string quartet called “SQ666,” which has been composed using techniques from heavy metal rock music.

This concert also features a variety of ensemble sizes, varying from string quartets all the way up to large ensemble works conducted by LCO’s music director Orlando Cela. Steven Sérpa’s “An Invocation,” for solo oboe and strings, is a tone poem inspired by his long-time collaborator, queer poet Jeffery Beam, about the small beauties of nature. Sérpa has also written about more difficult topics, including an oratorio on HIV stigma with Inversion Ensemble and an opera responding to the Pulse nightclub shooting with companies in Chicago, Montréal, Hartford, and Austin.

Ethan Soledad’s “Why Wait,” for a 9-person ensemble, is about his own journey of self-discovery and defeating self-doubt. Ethan’s music has been described as “bold, dramatic, and unapologetically expressive.”

The largest work of the afternoon will be a World Premiere by composer Julia Moss: “The World is Too Much for Us”. Written for mezzo-soprano soloist Julianna Smith and a 10-person chamber ensemble, the work is based on conversations between the composer-performer pair about the feeling of being overwhelmed by the ever-growing clutter of life. Inspired by these ideas, she chose to set the piece to a poem by William Wordsworth about how we have become so obsessed with possessing material items and controlling nature.

“By drowning out nature,” Moss says, “we are really drowning out ourselves. The piece is meant to be an optimistic and empowering reminder of what we should really be paying attention to.” In the fall of 2022, Moss will enroll at the University of Southern California’s (USC) Thornton School of Music to earn a Masters in Music Composition.

“We also wanted to show through our programming that queer composers have stood the test of time. There are so many composers whose music we play all the time and whose names most anyone would recognize, but nobody knows they were queer. Tchaikovsky, for instance. He was queer. Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Samuel Barber, Benjamin Britten, just to name a few more of the “classics.” And of course this doesn’t even start to scratch the surface of the loads of queer composers living today, nor accurately represent the diversity that exists among them. But this is why we wanted to program someone as old as Baroque composer Jean-Baptiste Lully, who was born in 1632, to show that we really have been here all along, only now can we start to proudly assert our identities.”


The Lowell Chamber Orchestra is Lowell’s first and only professional orchestra, demolishing the socio-economic barriers to classical music by always providing the area with music at a very high level, of all styles and eras. Consequently, this event is free of charge, but donations are kindly requested.

If you believe this concert to be a worthy cause and are able to contribute to the event funds, please donate at the link below. Thank you!

“LCO: Pride: A Rainbow of Repertoire”

Sunday, June 5, 3 p.m.

Richard and Nancy Donahue Academic Arts Center

Recital Hall

240 Central Street, Lowell, MA

Free to attend, no tickets, just show up – Mask required

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