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As we reflect on the theme of “Bending the Arc” this morning, we remember all those who have gone before us in the long and arduous struggle for civil rights.
The composer Ysaye M. Barnwell, well-known from her tenure with the female African-American a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock, reflects on the challenges of doing justice in her haunting composition Would you harbor me? As the chorus probes, “Would you harbor me? Would I harbor you?”, the unsettling harmonies suggest the difficulty of recognizing each other’s full humanity in a deeply divisive world.
As we reflect on the theme of “Bending the Arc” this morning, we remember all those who have gone before us in the long and arduous struggle for civil rights. Honoring the dead by singing their names is a common practice in many religious traditions, ranging from Buddhism to Christianity. This afternoon, Ecco chants the names of some of the community leaders, activists, and ordinary folk who devoted themselves – and often sacrificed their lives – to the ongoing struggle for justice.
Known for his adventurous programming and passion for musical excellence, Eric Tuan enjoys a varied career as conductor, singer, collaborative keyboardist, and composer in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to his work with Ecco, he serves as organist/choirmaster at Christ Church Los Altos and as the founding director of the chamber choir Convivium. Eric has sung professionally with Volti, Cappella SF, and the Philharmonia Baroque Chorale, and has worked as a staff accompanist for Stanford’s music department. He is increasingly sought after as a choral composer, with numerous commissions from leading California choral organizations and octavos published by E.C. Schirmer. Eric received his B.A. in Music with Honors from Stanford University, and completed a Master of Music in Choral Studies with Distinction at the University of Cambridge with the support of a Gates Cambridge Scholarship.