March 6-7



Friday | 3.6.20 | 8:00 PM
Saturday | 3.7.20 | 8:00 PM

St. Paul's Church, 315 West 22nd Street

The Chelsea Symphony presents “Songs of Hope” on March 6-7 during its fourteenth season RISE UP. All works on this program are by living composers. TCS is proud to feature four performers and three works in honor of International Women's Day.

This program features three contemporary composers whose work captures the American experience. Missy Mazzoli's River Rouge Transfiguration draws inspiration from the dynamic landscape of Detroit. Gabriela Lena Frank's Elegía Andina explores the composer's multicultural (Lithuanian-Jewish-Chinese-Peruvian-Spanish) identity. Joan Tower's Made in America is an uplifting meditation on how we can keep our country beautiful, even in times of uncertainty and turmoil.

The program opens with two world premieres by TCS resident composers: Tim Kiah's Truth unto the People, dedicated to Sojourner Truth and inspired by her 1851 speech at the Women's Rights Convention in Akron, OH. The piece will include text from this speech featuring two guest vocalists, Bonita Oliver and Onome. Both nights will also present a concerto for two horns and wind ensemble by Mike Boyman, featuring TCS musicians Jessica Santiago and Emily Wong.

Concert run time: 105 minutes including a 15-minute intermission

Tickets available on Eventbrite for $25 for seating in premium areas; admission also available at the door for a suggested donation of $20.

Know before you go

International Women's Day

Joan Tower, Made in America

There are two versions of Sojourner Truth's speech delivered to the 1851 Women's Rights Convention in Akron, OH (and the inspiration for Tim Kiah's world premiere piece on this concert program).

The popular 'Ain't I a Woman' Speech was first published by Frances Gage in 1863, 12 years after the speech itself. Another version was published a month after the speech was given in the Anti-Slavery Bugle by Rev. Marius Robinson. In Robinson's Version the phrase 'Ain't I a Woman' is not present. (U.S. National Park Service)

Read the two versions, compare the speeches, and come hear the piece on March 6 and 7!

Published in the Anti-Slavery Bugle by Rev. Marius Robinson (1851)
Source: Library of Congress

Published by Frances Gage (1863)
Source: U.S. National Park Service

See the comparison and hear Truth's legacy:

The Sojourner Truth Project

Conductor:  Matthew Aubin, Mark Seto


Tim Kiah

Truth unto the People

(World Premiere)

Tim Kiah, Composer
Bonita Oliver, Voice
Onome, Voice
Mike Boyman

Concerto for Two Horns and Wind Ensemble

(World Premiere)

Emily Wong, Horn
Mike Boyman, Composer
Missy Mazzoli

River Rouge Transfiguration

Gabriela Lena Frank

Elegia Andina

Joan Tower

Made in America

Featured Artists

Bonita Oliver

Friday, 3.6, Saturday, 3.7

Tim Kiah: Truth unto the People

Bonita Oliver is a  multidisciplinary performance artist and improviser. Her work is about transitions- the process of moving through.

She creates deeply emotional, body in space, concept art through voice, music,  environmental soundscapes and movement. The motivation is to heal personal and ancestral trauma in order to make way for discovery and connection.

Her process is in the moment and responds to stimuli – be it internal or external -through embodiment and interaction. Her live works exhibit this process in …


Friday, 3.6, Saturday, 3.7

Tim Kiah: Truth unto the People

Onome (awe nə MAY) is a vocalist of Urhobo heritage who incorporates improvisation into her practice as a tool to expand consciousness, creativity, and personal development. Through her audience-interactive performances, workshops and sound installations, Onome embodies joy, enchantment, and infinite possibility. She is an artist-in-residence at Carnegie Hall as a core member of the vocal improvisation lab and ensemble, Moving Star. She has performed sound poetry at hundreds of venues nationally, recorded soundscapes for podcasts, and created vocal film …

Jessica Santiago

Friday, 3.6, Saturday, 3.7

Mike Boyman: Concerto for Two Horns and Wind Ensemble

An avid solo and chamber musician, Jess maintains a career as a freelance horn player and pedagogue. Known to go wherever the wind will take her, she has performing credits across the USA, Europe, and Asia. Most notably she has performed with the MostArts Festival (Alfred, NY), Artosphere Festival Orchestra (Fayetteville, AR), Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela (LA), Hollywood Concert Orchestra (FL), and the Sarajevo Philharmonic (BiH). A native of New York, Jess performs at some of the most …

Emily Wong

Friday, 3.6, Saturday, 3.7

Mike Boyman: Concerto for Two Horns and Wind Ensemble

Emily Wong is a freelance hornist in the NYC metropolitan area, board member of the Look + Listen Festival, and vice president in operations at a financial services firm.

Serving as President and Executive Director of The Chelsea Symphony until 2021, she has been a consultant for and can be seen and heard alongside other members in all four seasons of the Golden Globe-winning Amazon Original Series, Mozart in the Jungle. Emily has also worked to bring the music …

Tim Kiah

Friday, 3.6, Saturday, 3.7

Tim Kiah: Truth unto the People

Tim Kiah is a Brooklyn-based composer, vocalist, and bassist. He has been commissioned by Chamber Music America, Lincoln Center, La Mama Theatre, the Washington Square Winds, the Gusto Chamber Players, and the Northern Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra in Newcastle, England. His works have been premiered at venues such as Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, and have been broadcast on NPR. He is a member and composer of The Chelsea Symphony.

Upon moving to New York, Kiah, a registered nurse, formed a …

Mike Boyman

Friday, 3.6, Saturday, 3.7

Mike Boyman: Concerto for Two Horns and Wind Ensemble

Composer and violist Michael Boyman is always searching for the perfect balance of form and expression. An alumnus of the New York Youth Symphony, Michael served as principal violist of the orchestra and was a member of Making Score, the organization's composition program. Michael is a graduate of New York University, where he studied political science and music composition, studying with Justin Dello Joio. He received his Master's Degree in Composition from the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied …


A leader in the 21st century orchestral landscape, Dr. Matthew Aubin is constantly reaching new audiences through innovative performance formats and creative initiatives both on and off the podium.

The 2022-23 season kicks off Dr. Aubin’s inaugural year as Music Director of the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, he is Music Director of the Jackson Symphony Orchestra and serves as Artistic Director of The Chelsea Symphony. In his role at TCS, he has led highly visible collaborations with partners such …

Mark Seto leads a wide-ranging musical life as a conductor, scholar, teacher, and violinist. He is Artistic Director and Conductor of The Chelsea Symphony in New York City, and Senior Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Music at Brown University, where he directs the Brown University Orchestra and teaches courses in music history, theory, and conducting. Highlights of his 2023-24 season include performances with violinist Itzhak Perlman, violinist Randall Goosby, and clarinetist Anthony McGill, and the inauguration of The …