‘Rachel Rising’ will celebrate women in the arts

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Haven House starts the month by celebrating women in the arts during a benefit concert and art display at Fairview United Methodist Church.

“Rachel Rising: A Celebration of Women in the Arts” is an open event featuring paintings, photography, sculptures, stained glass and metalwork by women artists from throughout the region. The event culminates with the world premiere of a concert work by author/soprano Rebekkah Hilgraves and composer Rob Deemer entitled “Rachel Rising.”

The performance and art display takes place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2 at Fairview United Methodist Church, 2508 Old Niles Ferry Road.

The art exhibit will open at 6 p.m., and a reception following the concert will offer concertgoers the opportunity to view the artworks at leisure. There is no charge for the concert, but a minimum donation of $25 will be gratefully accepted.

After surviving a domestic violence situation eleven years ago, soprano Rebekkah Hilgraves wrote a cycle of 15 poems entitled “Rachel Rising.” In the summer of 2006 she connected with composer Rob Deemer and early in 2008, work began on bringing the song cycle to life.

The world premiere performance in Maryville will benefit Haven House.

The song cycle will subsequently be presented at SUNY/Fredonia where Dr. Deemer heads the composition department, and at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill., in conjunction with university music school seminars on the collaborative process, preparing new works for performance, and other subjects relating to the work.

Hilgraves, Deemer, violinist Lucie Novoveska and a chamber ensemble of musicians from Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Knoxville Opera and the graduate department of UT School of Music will perform the new composition, commissioned for this event.

Other artists scheduled to participate in the event include photographer Theresa Saxon of Images Coterie, fine metalsmith Joann Marie, graphic artist and painter Dana Rimback, stained glass artist Catherine Frye of Southern Studios, and others.

Haven House is an emergency shelter in Maryville, Tennessee whose mission is to provide emergency shelter and support services related to the needs of domestic violence victims. For more information about Haven House, visit http://www.havenhousetn.org.

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