Akron Beacon Journal
Earth Institute Sunday “Arts and Hearts” with Andy Revkin
Kent State University
University of Arizona
KJZZ 91.5 Tucson
San Antonio Report
The Daily Wildcat
News 5 Cleveland
Ohio Arts Council
Spectrum News 1
Sangha News Journal
Spectrum News 1
British composer Cecilia McDowall’s choral work, On the Air (Dear Vaccine) was commissioned by the Cleveland Chamber Choir and premiered on February 26, 2022, at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. For the text, McDowall worked with British poet, writer, and broadcaster Seàn Street. Together, they chose several poetic excerpts from the Global Vaccine Poem project.
McDowall’s On the Air (Dear Vaccine) is a poetic letter addressing our desires about the COVID-19 vaccine, including the universal hope for things to return to the way they were before the pandemic. It begins quietly with sustained textures providing the backdrop for a lone speaker who implores the Vaccine to make possible the return of singers to the stage. McDowall notes that when asking Street to choose texts, he “treated each line he drew on with the greatest delicacy; of course, every expression was submitted as a cherished wish in the midst of our very bleak, pre-vaccine landscape. Seàn then shaped these extracts into his own poetic form, opening with a spoken address to ‘Dear Vaccine,’ brimming with anticipation. What follows is a progression of increasingly uplifting stanzas, culminating in the lines, ‘We are the choir—unmasked, unveiled, unmuted. Breathe air, and sing!’ Of course, when we conceived the new work, we were hopeful that the pandemic would have faded into the shadows. But alas, here we are, it is still with us and though the singers are masked and veiled, thankfully they are unmuted.”
Traveling Stanzas community arts projects bring poetry to people’s everyday lives through innovative methods and digital platforms.
Learn more at TravelingStanzas.com
All content copyright 2021 Traveling Stanzas
with additional support from the Offices of the President and Provost at the University of Arizona and the Kent State University College of Arts and Sciences.