Prizm News / April 23, 2019 / By Ken Schneck
Windsong Celebrates a New Season and 40 Years of Changing Lives Through Music
By Ken Schneck
1979 was a monumental year for the LBGTQ community finding its voice.
In San Francisco, the White Night Riots saw thousands of citizens taking to the streets to protest the egregiously insulting slap-on-the-wrist that Dan White received for murdering Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone in broad daylight. In Washington D.C., hundreds of thousands gathered from across the world for the first ever National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. And in Ohio, a small group of women gathered in Cleveland to perform as a single act at the Womyn’s Variety Show.
Though the scope and number of that last event may appear minor when placed next to the others, that Cleveland night was when Windsong was born and thus the impact has been no less than mighty. With the upcoming launch of their 40th anniversary season, Cleveland’s feminist chorus stands as ready as they have always been to create social change through the power of their collective voice.
“We are coming out in a big way this year,” says Argerie Vasilakes, narrator and 20-year veteran of Windsong. “We are saying to our constituents, Yes, we see you and we sing about you.”
The presence of Windsong is certainly just as groundbreaking and important as it was in 1979. In these times of #metoo, maybe even more so. Their mission stands as strong as it always has: to empower women through their participation in the performance of music as they effect social change that is diverse, women-supportive, and environmentally responsible. As Windsong embarks on this 40th year celebration, the power of what they put forth is not lost on the group.
“By raising our voices, by singing into existence the issues that matter most to us, that is our actual activism,” says Vasilakes. “My heart is racing because the group is out there in a very real way and these days, that can be dangerous.”
In early May, Windsong will debut two performances: “Bold, Brazen, Brave” at the Bop Stop on May 3 and “Are We There Yet?” at the Near West Theatre on May 5. Both performances represent an opportunity embrace the past of the chorus while still having a keen eye on their future
“We are going to look back to where Windsong has been, even as we look forward to where we as a community can go,” explains Heather Russell, artistic director. “We want to put ourselves out there and sing songs about what is meaningful in our lives.”
Here’s to 40 more years of such major notes.
For more info on Windsong’s 40th season to get tickets for upcoming shows, go to http://windsongcleveland.org