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World Premiere: Voices of the Silenced

Updated: Sep 7, 2019

The New Hampshire Master Chorale has often worked to present narrative concert experiences that take our audiences on a journey exploring emotional and social issues not often grappled with in a public context.

To further this mission, we are privileged to announce a world premiere commission that seeks to give voice to those who have been silenced or marginalized: formerly incarcerated people, people living with HIV, people dealing with the impact of suicide, people struggling with their personal identity, and other life challenges that often go unmentioned.

Our goal is not to speak for the people struggling with these issues, but to give their voice a space in our community to be recognized. To allow this space, all of the texts drawn for this work have been written by individuals living in and grappling with these and other difficult life circumstance.

In November, the Master Chorale will premiere internationally-renowned composer Kim André Arnesen's work Voices of the Silenced, written for our singers over the last year. As an ensemble we are dedicated to the art of choral performance. For us this means pushing into new territory in the realm of choral music performance, making statements, and performing at the highest level.

Kim André Arnesen, composer

This commission asked composer Kim André Arnesen to create a forty-minute piece for chorus and string orchestra. Previously, the Master Chorale performed Arnesen's work The Wound in the Water in November 2017 and found his writing style and sensitivity to emotional texts to be a superb fit for the themes of Voices of the Silenced. Each movement of the work will represent a different community voice as well as a new poem by author Euan Tait, writer of the libretto for The Wound in the Water.

The New Hampshire Master Chorale has undertaken this project following a generous gift of $15,000 from an anonymous donor to support a cultural project in NH that would otherwise never be able to occur. After contacting Kim Arnesen and developing the initial project concept, the Master Chorale received another generous gift of $10,000 in support of this composition and performance, this time from the Jack and Dorothy Byrne Foundation.

To achieve this landmark project, the Master Chorale has set a commission and performance budget of over $45,000 to create this composition and bring performances to three distinct regions of the state. Additionally, as an internationally-acclaimed composer, this work is likely to find continuous performances around the world.

Although the Master Chorale has received additional funding from grantors like Choral Arts New England, we are looking for support in bringing the funding of this project to completion.

Will you help us lift up these voices?

Donations to Voices of the Silenced will go directly to artistic project costs related to creating and performing this piece. We are emboldened by the support of our initial funders and truly believe that this project deserves to have a voice in the world. We hope that you will add yours to it.

To contribute, you can use the form in this post or visit

We look forward to sharing the stories of this project with you over the next several months and hope that you will save the date to join us on November 22, 23, 24.

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