Arts & Culture

Coe College to focus on songs of protest in March Thursday forum series

(File photo) A seating area is used in front of Hickok Hall at Coe College in northeast Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
(File photo) A seating area is used in front of Hickok Hall at Coe College in northeast Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

In the March Coe College Thursday Forum series the focus will be on “Songs of Protest and Resistance.”

Coe’s Marc Falk, the Pearl M. Taylor associate professor of music, and Steve Shanley, assistant professor of music, will explore the powerful role of music in movements of protest and resistance on March 8, 15, 22 and 29.

The Thursday Forum presentations are held in Coe’s Kesler Lecture Hall in Hickok Hall. Each session begins with registration and refreshments from 8:45 to 9:15 a.m., followed by the class until 11:30 a.m. An optional luncheon is offered at the conclusion of the series on March 29.

Music has always been a powerful voice for protest and social change. It speaks to the heart and soul as well as to the mind, and can say different things, in different ways, than a speech or an article. It can enable a crowd of thousands to sing with one voice. It can use metaphor and allusion, hidden meanings and code words to share critical ideas in a public space. Music takes its message to the streets, to the concert hall, to meetings, talk shows, front porches and bars, and to anywhere that people have a radio, a guitar or a voice.

The four weekly sessions cover “This Land is Your Land”: The Roots of U.S. Protest Music; “Strange Fruit”: Jazz as Activism; “If You Miss Me From the Back of the Bus”: Equal Rights for All; and “I Ain’t A-Marching Anymore”: Music Against War.

“Songs of Protest and Resistance” will feature lecture, dialogue, audio and video recordings, as well as live performance and song-leading by the presenters.

The Thursday Forum courses are open to all adults. Admission to the entire four-week course can be purchased for $35 on the first day or in advance. Admission to individual lectures is $12 per week. The closing luncheon costs an additional $8. Payment can be made in person on Thursday mornings by cash or personal check. For more information, call (319) 399-8623.

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