July 25, 2021

Singers to perform at peace concert

BANGOR – Singing for peace is a concept that dovetails easily with the choral group Women with Wings. In the chorus, the members use the “peace and power” method to arrive at a consensus when making decisions about the group, said member Maria Hautala, who has sung in the group for five years.

Recently, Women with Wings decided to organize and participate in a Singing for Peace concert set for 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at the Union Street Brick Church, 126 Union St. The event will be a fundraiser for the Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine in Bangor.

“Women with Wings always does a fall concert,” Hautala said, “and we sing at events and with other choruses.”

Women with Wings, Sviata Duma [Balkan Trio] of Ellsworth, the Peace and Justice Center’s Voices of Peace choir and Women Rising of Blue Hill will sing alone and together at the Singing for Peace concert.

Linda Smith Koehler is the director of Women with Wings. She stepped into the role in 2002 after the death of Kay Gardner, who had guided the chorus since 1993.

The group, Koehler said, feels strongly about peace and creating peace in the world, an impetus for organizing the concert on that theme.

“The thing I believe about music,” she said, “is that we sing to feed the soul. We sing chants. Harmonies grow into the singing – singers find the harmony and they sing it. The songs are about peace, oneness and love.” The women sing without sheet music, learning simple songs and chants by listening to one another sing.

For the last 13 years Women with Wings has met each Thursday evening at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Park Street. The goal of the group is to seek spiritual empowerment for women, to create a safe, sacred space for exploring women’s spirituality through music.

At the concert, Women with Wings will sing “I Create Peace,” a song Koehler wrote.

“When we are full of peace and love, the easier it is to emit it,” she said. “Thus we create world peace. It has to start within. The only place we can be sure of making changes is in ourselves.”

In July, Koehler released the CD “Wide Open,” comprised of songs she wrote. Women with Wings perform some of the songs on the recording. Several of the songs from the CD will be performed at the Singing for Peace concert. One dollar from the sale of each CD goes to the Hunger Project.

Tickets for the concert are a $10 donation. For more information about the concert or Women with Wings, call Koehler at 866-0898, or Hautala at 990-3268. Information also is available at http://ellsworthme.org/Women With Wings/index.html.

“Wide Open” is available at www.ladyslipper.com.

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