by Mišo Suchý
edited by Ryan Tebo
Giving Voice is a musical documentary about a community choir in Central New York that uses singing as a tool to foster broad social inclusiveness and community building.
There are no auditions; in fact, you don’t even have to know how to sing to join the Syracuse Community Choir. You just have to want to sing because membership is open to anyone regardless of ability. A powerful and beautiful music emerges from this unique choir that values real inclusiveness and strives to bridge societal divisions while promoting peace and justice.
The documentary captures the Community Choir’s challenging rehearsals and preparations for their 20th Anniversary Winter Solstice Concert. This group of around seventy singers includes women, men and children of all ages, races, and sexual orientations, some with disabilities, and a broad spectrum of religious convictions. One thing brings them all together: the joy of singing.
At the helm is the woman who works to get these sometimes disparate voices to sing as one: founder and director Karen Mihalyi. To her, the choir is about more than the music, it’s about community. GIVING VOICE is a musical portrait of her quest to create “a table where there is space for everyone, not just a select few”.
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The Community Choir: Singing for an Inclusive Society