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Immigrants and refugees inspire upcoming PCC Choir concert

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PCC Rock Creek ChoirsThe suffering of those seeking refuge will be a central theme of Portland Community College’s benefit concert on Nov. 17 in Hillsboro. The PCC Rock Creek Campus choirs and Pacific University Chamber Singers will present Pulitzer-winning composer Caroline Shaw’s “To the Hands,” with all proceeds of the event going to support the Portland-based Immigrant Refugee and Community Organization.

Dr. Samuel Barbara, director of choral and vocal studies at PCC Rock Creek, will conduct. A donation of $10 is appreciated.

“To the Hands” begins inside the 17th century sound of Danish composer Dietrich Buxtehude, whose exploration of another’s suffering, “Membra Jesu Nostri” (The Limbs of our Jesus), served as the inspiration for Shaw’s modern work.

The piece gradually presents the suffering of those around the world seeking refuge, as well as our role and responsibility in these global and local crises. The sixth and final movement unfolds the tumbling and comforting promise of “ever ever” — “ever ever will I hold you, ever ever will I enfold you.”

According to Shaw, “they could be the words of Christ,”, “or of a parent or friend or lover, or even a nation.”

“Given PCC’s status as a sanctuary college and the challenges currently faced by refugees in our country, I think a performance of the work is particularly timely,” Barbara said. “I wanted to program something that would advocate for an underserved portion of our student body, and this project seemed a great way to do that.”

Part of IRCO’s organizational mission includes helping refugee students gain access to education, which aligns directly with PCC’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Visit the PCC Rock Creek Arts & English Facebook page for more information about this or other PCC Rock Creek music and art events.

PCC Rock Creek Choirs Benefit Concert

Caroline Shaw’s “To the Hands”

Saturday, Nov. 17 | 7:30 p.m.

St. Matthew Catholic Church | 475 SE 3rd Ave. | Hillsboro, OR

Suggested Donation – $10



About Alfredo V. Moreno

Alfredo has served PCC's westside communities in both a community engagement and public relations capacity since September of 2018. Born in the border city of El Paso, Texas, Alfredo grew up in the timber town of Roseburg in Southern Oregon... more »