PROTESTRA, the volunteer-led, activist orchestra, will host a concert on Thursday, July 28, at The DiMenna Center for Classical Music in New York City at 8 p.m. ET, in response to recent mass shootings and rising gun violence across the United States.
Concert organizers say “gun violence is a multifaceted, ongoing social issue that appears in many forms, including mass shootings, police shootings, gang violence, domestic violence, and suicides. This concert will be a vehicle not only to memorialize and reflect, but also to share resources and calls to action to make our country safer.” The event is intended to serve as a collective response spoken in our universal language: music.
This benefit concert will open with “(dis)armed” by Yaz Lancaster, featuring percussion soloists Tamika Gorski and Tyler Hefferon. Scored for percussion duo with tape, the work is “the composer’s attempt at exploring the conversation surrounding gun violence, particularly mass shootings and the killing of unarmed Black people by police in the United States”, organizers say.
The orchestral portion of the program, conducted by PROTESTRA Founder & Music Director Michelle Rofrano, will feature two works: Soul of Remembrance by Mary D. Watkins and Kindertotenlieder (Songs on the Death of Children) by Gustav Mahler, featuring soloist Alice Chung, mezzo-soprano. These compositions center around themes of immense loss, but they also afford us a solemn moment to remember and mourn the lives that were lost and begin to heal together as a community.
PROTESTRA will donate a portion of ticket proceeds to two organizations working to end gun violence at local and national levels:
- Save Our Streets (S.O.S.) is a Brooklyn- and Bronx-based program that seeks to end gun violence at the neighborhood level by changing local norms around violence and creating opportunities for meaningful educational and employment opportunities within the community. The core of the program consists of violence interrupters with first-hand knowledge of street and gang life who use their credibility and relationships to mediate conflicts before they escalate. In partnership with local organizations and faith leaders, S.O.S. holds frequent community events along with rapid responses to individual shootings, sending the message that the community will not tolerate violence.
- Everytown for Gun Safety is a movement of nearly 10 million mayors, moms, teachers, survivors, gun owners, students, and everyday Americans who have come together to make their own communities safer. Everytown works to keep guns out of the wrong hands, keep guns out of schools, prohibit assault weapons and dangerous hardware, hold the gun industry accountable, and ultimately keep communities safe.
Tickets for the event are “pay-what-you-can,” with a suggested donation of $25 (minimum donation: $1). Those who are able to donate are encouraged to do so. If the cost of a ticket presents a financial burden, email PROTESTRA at firstname.lastname@example.org to request free access.