Songs of Hope, the concert tour resulting from a six-week youth performing arts project in St. Paul, MN, stops in Zumbrota for the seventh year in a row, on Thurs., July 20, at 7 p.m. The free concert is at the State Theatre. Crossings and the Zumbrota Area Arts Council are sponsoring the performance.
The young vocalists sing songs from their own homelands mixed with U.S. songs chosen because together they offer perfect entertainment for a warm summer’s night. This year participating children are from countries such as Vietnam, China, India, Turkey, Italy, Russia, Turkey, Iraq, Israel, Jamaica, Guatemala, Argentina and the United States.
Before the concert, children of all ages are invited to Zumbrota’s East Park, just a few blocks from Crossings and the theater, for “Games from Around the World,” from 4:00-5:00 p.m. This is an opportunity to learn games from other countries and share favorite games. From 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., locals will be serving hamburgers and veggie burgers, salads, lemonade and desserts. The public is welcome to the free picnic, where free will donations will be accepted. The ninety-minute concert begins at 7:00pm. Concert attendees can enjoy free ice cream sandwiches.
On Friday morning, just before leaving Zumbrota for their next performance, they stop to perform a mini-concert at the Zumbrota Care Center.
The annual Songs of Hope concert tour has a well-deserved reputation for lively, upbeat shows for all ages. In its 18 years of operation, Songs of Hope has touched the lives of hundreds of children and staff from around the globe, and moved audiences to joy and to tears. Each concert is appropriate for children, families and adults who celebrate music and community.
The nonprofit Songs of Hope™ offers participants a unique opportunity to live in community with kids from other cultures while learning and performing music from many countries. Campers learn to look past prejudices, misconceptions and newspaper headlines as they live, sing and dance together. They practice six hours a day, six days a week for three weeks. Then, they take these songs of peace, love, and respect into neighboring communities in a joyous celebration of cultural unity, delighting their audiences along the way.
In 2017, the program is hosting 84 children. Everyone performs on every song, which means some performers will have learned to sing in new languages. An additional pleasure is the chance to see rich and beautiful traditional costumes, some brought by adult chaperones accompanying the children from their home countries.
These activities are made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.