Dallas Street Choir, Made Up of Homeless Community Members, Performs First Show 'Street Requiem'
The crowd packed in the Dallas City Performance Hall to see the Dallas Street Choir perform in Street Requiem, Jan. 25. No, this is not Texas’s newest, hottest performance group. It is a choir made up of community members who are all homeless.
The Dallas Street Choir began with founder and conductor Jonathan Palant. Palant is the minister of music at Kessler Park United Methodist Church and former artistic director of Dallas’s Turtle Creek Chorale. He is also the director of Credo, an ecumenical choir. His goal is to provide a musical outlet for those experiencing homelessness and disadvantage in a safe and affirming environment.
“Everyone deserves to be loved. Everyone needs to feel important at least once a day,” said Palant to The Dallas Morning News.
Rehearsals for the choir take place every Wednesday morning at the Stewpot, the city's largest homeless shelter, and is open to any member of the street community.
Street Requiem was the group's first live performance outside of once-a-year Christmas performances at the Stewpot. The choir was joined onstage by mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, the Credo Choir, the Dallas Street Choir and the Richland College Chamber Singers. The 40-minute work is by Australian composers Kathleen McGuire, Andy Payne and Jonathon Welch and aims to bring a sense of peace, remembrance and hope to communities struggling with homelessness and street violence.
The goal is to show that all people have worth and value. Donations to the project included the custom-made evening gowns for all the female performers and tuxes for the men. Hotel rooms for the night of the show were also donated.
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