Rainbow City Performing Arts presents A Gift of Music

On Saturday, December 16, 2023, diverse musical ensembles performed arrangements by queer, BIPOC, and living composers along with holiday-themed music at the University Congregational United Church of Christ (UCUCC). All of the performing musicians are members of Rainbow City Performing Arts, and many perform in other ensembles within the organization. As RCPA's mission states:

We are an organization of performance ensembles creating a diverse and inclusive environment for musical expression that promotes the equity and visibility of people in the LGBTQIA+ community.

Audience members can expect to see and hear diversity represented on stage at RCPA's events, and this ensemble performance was a fantastic demonstration! In the explanation below, the symbol * indicates a queer composer, + symbolizes a BIPOC composer and a ^ means a living composer.

Members of Flûtrange backstage holding bass flutes, alto flutes, piccolos, and soprano concert flutes.


Eight members of the Flûtrange ensemble (right) performed "Umoja" by Valerie Coleman+^ and "Selections from the Sound of Music" by Richard Rogers.

musical ensemble
The Lower Strings ensemble features two cellos and one viola.




The Lower Strings ensemble (left) performed "Alla Hornpipe" from Water Music by G.F. Handel* and Shchedryk by Mykola Leontovych.


The Saxodies ensemble includes a soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone saxophone.


The Saxodies ensemble (right) treated the audience to holiday music, performing "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen, "Ode to Joy" by Ludwig Van Beethoven, and "Feliz Navidad" by Jose Feliciano+^. See a video of their beautiful rendition of "Hallelujah" at the bottom of this post!

The F Holes ensemble comprised of violins, violas, and a cello.


The F Holes ensemble (left) performed "Lullaby" by George Gershwin*.





The Wind Advisory ensemble (below) performed "Through the Silent Night" by Michael Gebhart and "Fireflies" by Owl City^

The quintet consists of a flute, soprano saxophone, bassoon, french horn, and clarinet.








Dr. Christopher T. F. Hanson, RCPA's Artistic Director and Music Director of the Rainbow City Orchestra, performs on the violin with Abel Lifschutz (left) providing accompaniment on the piano. They performed "Suite for Violin & Piano" including "I. Largo," "II. Allegretto," "III. Andante tranquillo," "IV. Allegro marcato," "V. Andante calmato," and "VI. Presto" by Henry Cowell*.

Abel Lifschutz performs a piano solo.

Fans of the Rainbow City Orchestra might recognize Abel from the solo performance in Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin at the Spectrum of Color concert at Benaroya Hall on November 17, 2023. For RCPA's "A Gift of Music," Abel performed "Introduction and Fantasies on a Chorale Tune," by Norman Dello Joio.



A two-group ensemble formed by Rebecca and Roz (left) perform "Salut D'amour" by Edward Elgar and "12 Duos Op. 105, Nos. 2 & 4" by Friedrich August Kummer.


Solo violinist, Lauryn, is accompanied by Abel (left) on the piano performing "La Cumparsita" by Gerardo Hernán Matos Rodríguez+.


Finally, last but certainly not least, The Back Row ensemble (below) closed out the evening with a lively performance of holiday tunes. First, they played the traditional carol, "First Noel." They followed that with "No. 2 'Jasper's Dance' from Pineapple Poll" by Sir Aurthur Sullivan and "First Suite in Eb for Military Band, Op. 28, No. 1, III. Marche," by Gustav Host. The Back Row finished with "Carol of the Bells" by Mykola Leontovych.