Central Pennsylvania Womyn's Chorus
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Program Notes

Archival Promotional Material

Singing for Our Lives!

Spring 2002 Concert
April 27, Harrisburg Unitarian Church
May 4, York Unitarian Church

Benefit Concerts for

Honoring women who have faced cancer -- and those who love them.


Food for Thought

Feminist Barbara Ehrenreich's most recent book, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, is a heart-wrenching, infuriating, funny, smart, and empowering account of life at a minimum wage. It had just gone to the publisher when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and turned her sharp eye on the breast cancer industry in Welcome to Cancerland, in the November 2001 issue of Harper's magazine. Harper's kindly gave permission to Breast Cancer Action to put the article on its web site. Don't miss it.

Dan Krynak, Artistic Director
Catharine Roth, Accompanist (Piano)
Renee Bartholomew, Percussion
Cameo String Quartet: Hannah Belser, First Violin; Debra Anderson, Viola; Estelle Hartranft, Cello; Lynn Murphy, Second Violin

The concert featured the central Pennsylvania premiere of Where I Live, a Breast Cancer Oratorio by Diane Benjamin, and a wide variety of music for healing, remembrance, and celebration. An annotated list of all music follows.

"Every single one of these pieces gives me goosebumps." That's what one singer said during rehearsal for this concert.

Program with Notes

Where I Live

A Breast Cancer Oratorio by Diane Benjamin

This piece was commissioned by the Denver Women’s Chorus in 1999 when their music advisory committee discovered that four of their six members were daughters of breast cancer survivors.

It was premiered in May 2000 with two performances in Denver as well as performances in Ft. Collins and Colorado Springs, and a subsequent performance in San Jose, California at the 2000 GALA Choruses Festival. Additional performances have been given by choruses in Washington DC, Los Angeles, Portland, Oxford (Ohio), Grand Rapids, and Phoenix.

Ms. Benjamin says of the piece, “Where I Live was both a difficult and an easy piece to write. In 1998, one of my friends was diagnosed with breast cancer. Katherine graciously allowed me to become part of her journey, as she found a path of healing and courage through this life-threatening condition. I wanted to create a piece that would offer support to those living with and surviving cancer, validating their experience. I wanted to create something that would encourage their loved ones, family and friends, and that would inspire other in the community to step forward and help. I wanted to raise questions about the role of environmental pollution and the importance of focusing on cancer prevention, not just diagnosis and treatment. And I wanted to create something beautiful and healing for all of us. I hope I have succeeded.”

The Composer

Diane Benjamin is a musician and composer living in Minneapolis. A self-taught composer who wrote her first piece at age eight, she took up composing again in 1992. Her choral commissions and instrumental pieces have been performed throughout the United States and Canada. Her most recent commission was a three-movement work, commissioned for a joint concert by the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus and Denver Gay Men’s Chorus in June of 2001. Many of her choral works are published by Yelton-Rhodes Music in Los Angeles.

The oratorio alternates seven songs and six narrative pieces. Special thanks to the cancer survivors who gave their spirits and their voices as narrators.

-- Intermission --

Archival Material

These are printed materials in PDF (Adobe Acrobat) format. (If they don't open for you, see here.)

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