The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music news: Madison citizens and University of Wisconsin students link political activism and arts activism at Capitol protests

March 7, 2011

By Jacob Stockinger

It should come as no surprise, I suppose, to learn that political activism and arts activism go hand in hand at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

If you doubt it, just recall the three weeks that the mass and massive protests at the state Capitol over Gov. Scott Walker’s so-called “Budget Repair Bill”  — the Kill Public Unions Bill —  have stayed in the headlines around the state, the nation and the world.

Then read this e-mail sent to me by a terrific performer and a great friend of this blog, pianist Jonathan Kuuskoski, who is one of the co-founders of the UW graduate student group NEW MUSE (below) , which stands for New Music Everywhere, and who is also an adjunct faculty member at Edgewood College in Madison:

Hi all-

Just wanted to share this video for one of the largest flash mobs in Wisconsin history, a performance of “Do You Hear the People Sing?” from “Les Miserables” (which is celebrating its 25th anniversary) during the 13th day of protests at the Capitol!

The conductor is Jerry Hui, the co-director of New Music Everywhere (seen below on left, with me in the center and pianist Paolo Savvidou on the right). It was coordinated by Sarah Marty, of Forward Theater and Four Seasons Theatre, and involved hundreds of singers and instrumentalists.

Share with friends, post it on your Facebook walls, and spread the word!

By the way, this took place a few hours before the police were going to vacate the rotunda, but due to the huge numbers still in place, they let people stay



Reactions, anyone?

Encouragement? Should they do it again?


Praise or criticism?

Suggestions for appropriate classical works, which they usually perform. to match the protests and occasion?

The Ear wants to hear.

Posted in Classical music

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