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This past spring, Voices of Concinnity collaborated with Unitus Ensemble for a special performance with the stars projected on the ceiling of the hall at Charter Oak Cultural Center in Hartford called: 

"Stars are for all who look up".  

Thanks to funding provided through a quick grant for CT Humanities, we were able to host a pre-concert discussion exploring the question, "Are stars for all who look up?"

Why is the pre-concert discussion relevant?

As Dr. Hughes addressed during the discussion, the ethics of viewing the night sky are important.  Whose land are we building telescopes to view the night sky?  The mega satellite constellations being launched by Space X will interfere with everyone on earth being able to view the Milky Way, forever losing the collection of cultural knowledge that accompanies it [Dr. Hughes]. Light pollution is an environmental injustice that differentially effects people on the basis of race, income, and social class [Sharon Lewis].  Historically, the stars were leveraged as a way to travel and we are losing that connection with the night sky {Dr. Trecek-King].

Through this excerpts from this choral performance and excellent pre-concert discussion, we can explore this important conversation through an online recording.  The videos can all be accessed for free; however, if you like this type of programming and would like to support us in future endeavors, please feel to donate (we are a non-profit):

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This button will take you to a YouTube playlist where you can watch excerpts from the concert for free



   Discussion exploring the injustice of experiencing the night sky by asking, "Are stars for all who look up?"


Charter Oak Cultural Center hosted free virtual panel discussion exploring the intersection of the injustice of experiencing the night sky. Not all have the same privilege to see stars at night due to environmental factors, like light pollution, and social limitations. such as inequity of access to outdoor spaces or lack of gender/racial diversity in STEM fields like astronomy.  Consonare Choral Community chose to explore this topic through a concert and facilitated discussion because similar inequities are mirrored in the classical music field.

This discussion was facilitated by:

Miles Wilson-Toliver

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Meet the panelists for this facilitated discussion:


Sharon Lewis

Ms. Lewis is a lifetime Hartford resident and Executive Director of the Connecticut Coalition for Economic and. Environmental Justice (CCEEJ), an organization that was established in Hartford in the summer of 1997 in response to community concerns regarding the siting of a power generator in South Hartford. The mission of the Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice is to protect urban environments in Connecticut through community education, promoting changes in state policy, and promoting individual, corporate and governmental responsibility towards the environment.  She has stated that "improving human health and the environments of low-income communities of color is our work."  More info.


Dr. Meredith Hughes

Prof. Meredith Hughes studies planet formation by observing the disks of gas and dust around young stars using radio interferometers.  She graduated summa cum laude from Yale University with a B.S. degree in Physics & Astronomy, and went on to earn A.M. and Ph.D. degrees in Astronomy from Harvard University.  She was a Miller Fellow in the UC Berkeley Department of Astronomy before joining the faculty at Wesleyan University in January 2013.  She is the recipient of the Harvard Astronomy Department's Fireman Fellowship for outstanding doctoral thesis and Bok Prize for research excellence by a PhD graduate under the age of 35, as well as a Cottrell Scholar Award recognizing outstanding teacher-scholars. She is also a lifelong amateur choral singer, and has performed with the Yale Glee Club, Yale Camerata, Boston Choral Ensemble, and the Sacred and Profane Chamber Chorus.   More info.


Dr. Anthony Trecek-King

Over the past 20 years, Dr. Anthony Trecek-King has cultivated an international reputation as a choral conductor, scholar, pedagogue, and media personality. He is passionate about cultivating artistically excellent ensembles that explore socially relevant issues through emotionally immersive programs, challenging both artists and audiences to feel and think. Dr. Trecek-King has recently been appointed as both an Associate Professor of Choral Music and Director of Choral Activities at The Hartt School, University of Hartford and a Resident Conductor with the Handel and Haydn Society.  More info here

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This concert and facilitated discussion is presented by Consonare Choral Community in partnership with Charter Oak Cultural Center.

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Support for this event has been provided to Consonare Choral Community from CT Humanities (CTH), which has been made possible by the State of Connecticut and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Video of full virtual panel discussion available here:

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