Political Folk Music Group Brings New Meaning to Harmony

Posted: February 24, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Tara Laskowski

The group Emma’s Revolution, who led more than 10,000 people in singing their peace song “Peace, Salaam, Shalom” in New York City just after Sept. 11, 2001, is coming to Mason’s Fairfax Campus on March 6 to perform and teach about music advocacy.

Invited as part of the New Century College (NCC) spring course, Youth Advocacy and Empowerment, the duo, Pat Humphries and Sandy Opatow, will sing in the Johnson Center Bistro at 7:45 p.m. in a free concert of political folk songs.

They will also spend time earlier that day speaking to the NCC class about the way music is used to promote social change.

“I’m hopeful that students will gain a better appreciation of how music can bring disparate groups together and work toward social change,” says Janette Muir, who teaches the course with Kim Eby and has seen Emma’s Revolution perform in the past.

“I hope they also help to introduce students to a different kind of music – political folk music – that can impact peoples’ lives.”

The duo brings their songs to concert halls, coffee houses, festivals, conferences and demonstrations across the country. Many of their songs have been translated into different languages, and their song “If I Give Your Name” won in the Folk category of the prestigious John Lennon Songwriting Contest. They have been featured on National Public Radio, Pacifica Radio’s “Democracy Now!” and in Rhythms magazine.

“They have a gift for tackling the toughest issues and always finding hope in the same place: community,” says Muir.

The concert is sponsored by University Life, New Century College, InterArts and Women’s Studies.

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