The program will feature actual historical songs from the Suffrage era, such as March of the Women by Ethyl Smith, The League of Women Voters by Mrs. D. P. Owens, and Suffrage Song by Eleanor Smith. The concert also includes two contemporary accounts of women of the time: Emma and May by Linda Allen tells the story in music of two women with contrasting personalities who played an important role in the suffrage movement in Washington, Emma Smith Devoe and May Arkwright Hutton. And Nana Was a Suffragette by Jules Gibb tells the story of an elderly surviving suffragette from the point of view of one British family. This portion of the program wraps up fittingly with Never Sit Down by Gwyneth Walker, a celebration of heroic women from the past who worked for women’s rights, including the suffragists.
In addition to celebrating women’s suffrage, our program also addresses the importance of voting with songs such as the delightful My Vote, My Voice, My Right by Roy Zimmerman and Melanie Hartley. Women in Harmony accompanist Deana Gurney’s arrangement of Vote ‘Em Out by Willie Nelson incorporates the gospel song Change this Land by Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
We will also feature a set of songs from the civil rights movement of the 1950s and1960s, including the protests against the disenfranchisement of African-Americans through widespread violence and racist policies. These songs include People Get Ready by Curtis Mayfield, Sam Cooke’s A Change is Gonna Come, the traditional spirituals Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around, Amazing Grace, and We Shall Overcome. Finally, this program will encourage our audience to get out and vote, offering voter registration at the concert.