Marian Anderson sings “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee”

Written by Mila Henry

Music Director and Pianist

In category: Song of the Day

Published May 7, 2019

With so many possibilities, I decided to use the themes of Fierce Grace: Jeannette Rankin as the themes of my “Song of the Day.” Women’s rights. Civil rights. Women’s suffrage. Pacifism. And a whole lot of Fierce Grace.

Kimberly Reed mentions so many amazing women within the text of Fierce Grace, from Hildegard to Harriet, Susan B to Shirley C, Battling Bella to Wonder Woman. And of course– as the Gen Z “Jeannie” remembers in the text-driven (in every sense!) fourth song featuring Laura Karpman’s music– there’s Eleanor Roosevelt. Diplomat, activist, and oh yeah, the longest serving First Lady of the United States, thanks to FDR’s four terms. When the Daughters of the American Revolution refused to let Marian Anderson sing in Constitution Hall in 1939, Roosevelt left the group in protest and arranged for Ms. Anderson to sing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Easter Sunday, beginning with “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee.”

author: Mila Henry

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Mila Henry is a music director, pianist, and the future Artistic Director of American Opera Projects (beginning in July 2019). “A stalwart contributor to the contemporary opera scene” (Opera Ithaca), Mila has lead rock musicals, hybrid performance pieces and folk operas; performed at The Stone, The Apollo and the Library of Congress; and traveled to Opera Philadelphia, LA Opera and Dutch National Opera. She can be heard on Voices of Women (Affetto Records) and Love & Trouble (Roven Records), and is a core member of the band Opera Cowgirls. Hear Mila perform in NYFOS Next: Laura Kaminsky & Friends on June 11 at 7:30 at The Center. Tickets available from Five Boroughs Music Festival.


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