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Press Releases

Election Year Inspires 20 Composers and Lyricists to Create Emancipation Songs Premiering in Boston, March 2024

February 8, 2024 | By April Thibeault | AMT PR | april@amtpublicrelations.com

as part of White Snake Projects SING OUT STRONG Series

performances by Boston Music Project’s youth orchestras

both citizens and immigrants share what voting means to them

BOSTON, MA (For Release 02.08.24) — Boston’s leading activist performing arts company White Snake Projects (WSP) demonstrates its commitment to uniting artmaking with civic practice in its Spring concert series: SING OUT STRONG: Emancipated Voices. Centered around the 2024 Election Year, this season’s SING OUT STRONG edition premieres original songs — with texts written by both citizens and recently arrived immigrants living in Massachusetts — about the meaning of voting. Free performances take place Mar 15 at the Josiah Quincy Elementary School, Mar 26 at the Boston Public Library’s Mattapan Branch, and Mar 27 at the Public Library of Brookline Village. Performers include young musicians from the Boston Music Project as well as local musicians and vocalists.

“There is seldom a stronger civic tradition in America than filling out a ballot,” says Cerise Lim Jacobs, WSP Founding Artistic Director. “With 2024 being an election year, we are providing a timely platform for everyone to express what voting means to them. We invite audiences to enjoy their neighbors’ voices and original songs.”

What Does Voting Mean To You? Composers young and old submitted their musical responses to this poignant question in a Call for Entries in 2023. Composers were selected by a panel consisting of renowned composers Carlos Carrillo and Kitty Brazelton, as well as WSP Music Director, Tianhui Ng. Representing various socio-economic, age, gender, and racial backgrounds, the chosen range from young and emerging composers to established, award-winning ones. WSP then paired the composers with local Massachusetts-based residents (from ages 8 to 70!), representing the melting pot of heritages in the United States. Four of the writers are students at Boston International Newcomers Academy (BINcA), a public high school devoted to recently arrived immigrants.


            “We’ll cast our ballots ‘cause we have a say

            I vote for my people to have a better life one day
            For all the times they put us down, let’s be loud
            For all the times we’ve endures in silence, let’s sound off”

  • Lanae’hannai Weaver, 15 yrs old, Gloucester, MA


“I finally became a citizen of America
As I took the citizenship oath
My heart bursting with pride and joy
I felt I was part of this great country
I had the right to vote”

  • Ivete Souza, 67 yrs old, Brookline, MA


“I want my voice
I need my voice
I need to speak
They need to hear
Please listen”

  • Gustavo Dos Santos Sousa, 18 yrs old, Boston, MA


Emancipated Voices marks the seventh installment of WSP’s multi-year SING OUT STRONG series. Past iterations of SING OUT STRONG have included: Immigrant Voices, DeColonized Voices, Essential Voices, Incarcerated Voices, Remembered Voices, and Questing Voices.

About White Snake Projects      
White Snake Projects (WSP) is an activist opera company making mission-driven work that unites artmaking with civic practice. It envisions a world where the power of opera expands our collective understanding of community and transforms lives through creative storytelling. The company’s most recent efforts have been devoted to the live digital productions of the Pandemic Trilogy: Alice in the Pandemic addressed the disproportionate strain of COVID-19 on communities of color and essential workers; Death by Life explored long-term incarceration and institutionalized racism; and A Survivor’s Odyssey dealt with the ongoing crisis of sexual and intimate partner violence.

A critical element in the exploration of these themes is the establishment of authentic connections with thought leaders in social justice to ensure that the company’s creative work lives in an ecosystem of activism. WSP sees opera not just as performance, but as performance with purpose, a vibrant and vital art form that is also a champion of change. WhiteSnakeProjects.org


White Snake Projects’ 2023-24 programming is supported by a generous grant from the Mellon Foundation. The National Endowment for the Arts, the Mass Cultural Council, the Boston Cultural Council, Reopen Creative Boston Fund, administered by the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture and the Ditson Fund.


Program Details:


Friday, March 15, 2024, at 8:00 a.m.
Josiah Quincy Elementary School, 885 Washington Street, Boston, MA
Performers: Children from the Josiah Quincy Orchestra Program and Boston Music Project


Tuesday, March 26, 2024, at 5:30 p.m.

Boston Public Library, Mattapan Branch, 1350 Blue Hill Avenue, Mattapan, MA


Wednesday, March 27, 2024, at 6:30 p.m.

Brookline Public Library, Main Branch, 361 Washington Street, Brookline, MA

in partnership with Brookline League of Women Voters


Marieke de Koker: The Day When I Can (lyrics by Chiruza Peter)
Xavier Bueno: Shout (lyrics by Gustavo Dos Santos Sousa)

Victor Rangel: Shattering Voices (lyrics by Quaidma Thelusme)

Kitty Brazelton: Prayers for Democracy (lyrics by Andrés Ballesteros)

Kangyi Zhang: Can You Hear Me Now? (lyrics by Marideza Manigat)

Jamie Klenetsky Fay: A Very Special Day (lyrics by Ivete Souza)

Ethan Soledad: A No. 2 Pencil (lyrics by Cerise Lim Jacobs)

Cole Reyes: Vote (lyrics by Maria De Sousa Abreu)
Del’Shawn Taylor: Your Vote, Your Power (lyrics by Samiir Muhamed)

Joel Balzun: Freedom Dreams (lyrics by Maria Luz)
Carlos Carrillo: Perfect Democracy (lyrics by Lanae’hannai Weaver)



Boston Music Project’s Newbold Orchestra, Jennifer Wang conducting
TBA – piano

TBA – soprano

Chihiro Asano – mezzo-soprano


All tickets are FREE and first come, first served. Please visit WhiteSnakeProjects.org for more information.




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