March 3, 2023
Countess Cooper, Yale Masters of Sacred Theology (S.T.M.) student at Yale Divinity School and military chaplain is also a member of Yale Camerata, one of the three choirs that will be performing in this Sunday’s “Voices Rising” concert, led by Grammy-winning conductor, Craig Hella Johnson.
Of the diverse repertoire—with pieces such as Credo by Margaret Bonds (and with words by W.E.B. DuBois), and All of us from Johnson’s oratorio about the life and legacy of Matthew Shepard—Countess says the variety and depth of the pieces have already been a source of healing for her. She believes the concert has the potential to be a “counterbalance to hateful, distorted and divisive narratives around race, gender, sexual orientation and more.” When she sings the Credo, she says she feels “connected to the promise” of “DuBois’ words, Bonds’ composition, and King’s dream” as “bitter memories intertwined with hopeful possibilities abound and the healing of deep soul wounds and cultural trauma commences.” Countess’ prayer is that “music of unity, wholeness, and healing allows us all to breathe more freely and love more deeply within the cross-section of God’s humanity.”