Facing the Music

Monday, November 16, 2015

Facing the Music

(Photo used with permission from Post-Crescent Media. Photo: Ron Page/Post-Crescent Media.) Hilary Haskell (center) rehearses with newVoices at Appleton Alliance Church. Haskell, a teacher at Appleton North High School and a volunteer at Harbor House, said she's known about the presence of sex trafficking in the community. She said she's excited to be on the forefront of the issue of sex trafficking with the concert. Read the full article in the Post-Crescent.

Contributor: Nanci Micke, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at United Way Fox Cities

Many of you are familiar with seeing my name in relation to United Way, but you may not know that I have been a board member of newVoices, (formerly White Heron Chorale) for many years. When the choir takes the stage at Lawrence University’s Chapel on October 24, they will be raising awareness of an issue that is growing in the Fox Cities. And, it’s not a theme that you may think of for a concert.

“Facing the Music” will focus on sex trafficking. Not an easy subject to discuss, or even acknowledge as a problem in this community that we love. Lieutenant Steve Elliot, of the Appleton Police Department tells us that children as young as 12 years old are vulnerable to sex trafficking. Running away from home, experiencing domestic violence, and living in poverty are the top three identified risk factors that can lure people into a life of prostitution.

Artistic Director for newVoices, Phillip Swan, is passionate about raising awareness for this issue. “Choral music has a special ability to tackle delicate subject matter in ways that gently challenge our comfort level and passivity, and move us to action,” Swan said. “Themes of individual struggle and hope have been expressed through music for hundreds of years, and become so much more vivid when the lyrics are interpreted within the context of human trafficking.”

Music genres featured at the concert will include sacred music, folk songs, spirituals, contemporary compositions, and a cappella settings of familiar hit songs. Although the subject matter is intense, many of the songs are hopeful and have lyrical melodies.
NewVoices is partnering with Sexual Assault Crisis Center and the Sex Trafficking Steering Committee to add education/outreach to the concert. A pre-concert discussion is offered at 6:30 p.m. at the Lawrence Conservatory. Members of the Sex Trafficking Steering Committee will talk about the scope of child sex trafficking in the Fox Cities and a short film, “Chosen,” an anti-trafficking documentary about teens lured into this dangerous life will be shown. If you are interested in tickets you will find more information at www.newvoiceschoir.org or call, 920.832.9700.