The soul-stirring “Women of Courage” choral concert will be performed by the Quad City Interfaith Choir on Saturday, Nov 11, 2 p.m., at the Church of the Red Rocks, 54 Bowstring Drive off State Route 179.
Songs and stories can uplift us when we need courage to address life’s challenges. The examples of courageous women throughout American history can energize us to do what’s needed today. Composer Mary Lou Prince and lyricist Patty Willis created Women of Courage to honor their personal heroes and to inspire us to follow in their footsteps.
The singers come from several congregations in the Prescott area, including United Church of Christ, Unitarian Universalist, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Jewish, Presbyterian, and other faith traditions.
Admission is free. This concert is a gift to our community from the Church of the Red Rocks, the Sedona Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, and the Quad City Interfaith Choir. Freewill offerings will be given to Hope House (a residence in Sedona for homeless families) and the Verde Valley Sanctuary.
Each Woman of Courage honored in this program encountered seemingly insurmountable difficulties, and each used her unique talents to transform the world into which she was born.
Some of the women are well known. One song tells about Eleanor Roosevelt, who, at 74 years of age, traveled through the Tennessee countryside, while the KKK offered a $25,000 bounty on her head. A loaded gun lay between her and the 71-year-old woman driving the car through the backwoods, on their way to the Highlander School, where she would teach a workshop on civil disobedience. The FBI offered no protection, but she had a commitment to keep.
Another is about Dolores Huerta, a co-founder of the United Farmworkers Union and mother of eleven children. She inspired her people to believe in themselves and to speak truth to power. She convinced them that they could make a difference. Her motto was, “Sí, se puede,” or “Yes, we can.”
Viola Jimulla, at the death of her husband in 1940, became the chieftess of the Yavapai people. She said, "I had to help my people in whatever they needed." Her firm but benevolent rule brought new industry and dignity to her tribe.
Mine Okubo, a gifted painter, was interned at Topaz in central Utah, when American citizens of Japanese ancestry were rounded up at the start of World War II. She used her gifts to express the daily hardships that she endured during a dark time in America’s history. Her message was: do not forget and do not repeat.
“Women of Courage” is a powerful and inspiring program. Performances of other works by Patty Willis and Mary Lou Prince were featured at international theater festivals in Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan, as well as at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Parliament of World Religions, and the Nadia Boulanger and her Students Festival at the University of Arizona.
For more information, please contact Mary Lou Prince at email@example.com.
This article has been corrected from an earlier version. The time of the concert is 2 p.m.