Our Voices without Borders Choral Series invites you to consider our collective call to welcome our neighbors with open arms. As we gather to share music in our schools, communities, places of worship, and beyond, we hope to share our stories, accept one another, and meditate on the beauty of human connection. Even when we don’t agree, all peoples and all nations can come together to celebrate our commonalities.
This series began as a collection of haiku written by San José State University choral students and then set to music by composition students in the choirs. This music and these texts serve as an invitation to consider how we can change the unfortunate reality of inequality, take responsibility for these changes, and work towards a more equitable future for all people. We call on those with a voice to speak with compassion and humanity in advocacy for those fleeing strife, danger, and persecution seeking a better life for themselves and their families. We must be amplifiers for those whose voices are ignored.
About Jeffrey Benson
Jeffrey Benson is currently Director of Choral Activities at San José State University. Dr. Benson is also the Artistic Director of Peninsula Cantare, a community chorus based in Palo Alto. Previously, Dr. Benson served as Director of Choral Activities and Fine Arts Department Chair at H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program in Arlington, Virginia.
Choirs under his direction have performed on multiple state and regional conferences of ACDA, NAfME and Chorus America, and have toured throughout the United States and Europe, including invited performances at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The White House and Washington National Cathedral. Recently Dr. Benson’s choirs have been invited to perform with the Rolling Stones, Josh Groban, Andrea Bocelli, the Los Angeles Festival Orchestra and the Skywalker Orchestra.