Thursday, April 4, 2013

feedback from our shows in Kitchener performing the music of Annie Lennox

We loved performing the songs of Annie Lennox with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony on March 20-21, and we've had great feedback, thank you! So glad you enjoyed the shows as much as we did.

"I would just like to say how much I enjoyed last night's performance. It was probably one of the most enjoyable my wife and I have seen in the 6 or 7 years we've been coming. The vocal teamwork and obvious joy of the presentation left us leaving wanting more...and craving pancakes! It was great seeing all of the very talented women take centre stage, literally.

Thanks, Greg & Marianne Noakes"

"I have had a subscription for Jeans n Classics in KW since it began at Centre in the Square I think 11 years ago. I have often commented on the fact that the women are primarily backup singers with the odd solo until this past show (there was another one in the first or second year, I think at Christmas)! Finally....sisters are doing it for themselves! This song was such a great anthem back in the day and a great encore choice. The only thing I would suggest is that you invite all of the “sisters” to stand and sing along with the chorus; we were dying to stand up and move and this would be a great way to end the show. Otherwise I loved the variety of voices and ability to have various combinations of singers; each has their own unique qualities. Looking forward to hearing more from all of you. Thanks for a great show.

Adrienne Gilbert"


Backstage after performing the music of the incomparable Annie Lennox with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Peter Brennan, The Women of JNC, & Jimmy Carter

There will always be more tales and pics from the Road... but here's something that proves our fearless leader Peter Brennan always has our backs. He sent this essay by Jimmy Carter to the ladies of JNC the other day. At the bottom are some of our reactions to the piece.


On 2013-04-01, at 10:00 AM, Peter Brennan wrote:

Hi Ladies
Gotta share this - hope you don't mind. Always loved Jimmy Carter... and this nailed me... I thought this was pure balanced brilliance.
Happy Monday!


Women and girls have been discriminated against for too long in a twisted interpretation of the word of God.

I HAVE been a practicing Christian all my life and a deacon and Bible teacher for many years. My faith is a source of strength and comfort to me, as religious beliefs are to hundreds of millions of people around the world. So my decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, was painful and difficult. It was, however, an unavoidable decision when the convention’s leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses and claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin, ordained that women must be “subservient” to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service.

This view that women are somehow inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or belief. Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths. Nor, tragically, does its influence stop at the walls of the church, mosque, synagogue or temple. This discrimination, unjustifiably attributed to a Higher Authority, has provided a reason or excuse for the deprivation of women’s equal rights across the world for centuries.

At its most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities.

The impact of these religious beliefs touches every aspect of our lives. They help explain why in many countries boys are educated before girls; why girls are told when and whom they must marry; and why many face enormous and unacceptable risks in pregnancy and childbirth because their basic health needs are not met.

In some Islamic nations, women are restricted in their movements, punished for permitting the exposure of an arm or ankle, deprived of education, prohibited from driving a car or competing with men for a job. If a woman is raped, she is often most severely punished as the guilty party in the crime.

The same discriminatory thinking lies behind the continuing gender gap in pay and why there are still so few women in office in the West. The root of this prejudice lies deep in our histories, but its impact is felt every day. It is not women and girls alone who suffer. It damages all of us. The evidence shows that investing in women and girls delivers major benefits for society. An educated woman has healthier children. She is more likely to send them to school. She earns more and invests what she earns in her family.

It is simply self-defeating for any community to discriminate against half its population. We need to challenge these self-serving and outdated attitudes and practices - as we are seeing in Iran where women are at the forefront of the battle for democracy and freedom.

I understand, however, why many political leaders can be reluctant about stepping into this minefield. Religion, and tradition, are powerful and sensitive areas to challenge. But my fellow Elders and I, who come from many faiths and backgrounds, no longer need to worry about winning votes or avoiding controversy - and we are deeply committed to challenging injustice wherever we see it.

The Elders are an independent group of eminent global leaders, brought together by former South African president Nelson Mandela, who offer their influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity. We have decided to draw particular attention to the responsibility of religious and traditional leaders in ensuring equality and human rights and have recently published a statement that declares: “The justification of discrimination against women and girls on grounds of religion or tradition, as if it were prescribed by a Higher Authority, is unacceptable.”

We are calling on all leaders to challenge and change the harmful teachings and practices, no matter how ingrained, which justify discrimination against women. We ask, in particular, that leaders of all religions have the courage to acknowledge and emphasise the positive messages of dignity and equality that all the world’s major faiths share.

The carefully selected verses found in the Holy Scriptures to justify the superiority of men owe more to time and place - and the determination of male leaders to hold onto their influence - than eternal truths. Similar biblical excerpts could be found to support the approval of slavery and the timid acquiescence to oppressive rulers.

I am also familiar with vivid descriptions in the same Scriptures in which women are revered as pre-eminent leaders. During the years of the early Christian church women served as deacons, priests, bishops, apostles, teachers and prophets. It wasn’t until the fourth century that dominant Christian leaders, all men, twisted and distorted Holy Scriptures to perpetuate their ascendant positions within the religious hierarchy.

The truth is that male religious leaders have had - and still have - an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. This is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions - all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God. It is time we had the courage to challenge these views.


Jimmy Carter was president of the United States from 1977 to 1981.
Copyright © 2013 Fairfax Media


On 2013-04-01, at 11:11 AM, Lis Soderberg wrote:

Wow.  What a powerful summary of a very big picture ... thanks so much for forwarding, Peter!  

On 2013-04-01, at 11:39 AM, Rique Franks wrote:

I love this!  I posted it to my fb wall yesterday too!  I <3 Jimmy!!!!!!


On 2013-04-01, at 11:41 AM, Peter Brennan wrote:

Yeah pretty astute peanut farmer !


On 2013-04-01, at 9:52 PM, Andrea Koziol wrote:

Yep.  I love this as well. Yay Jimmy!
Happy to not be the Pope tho...
Yours truly,
-Not The Pope Koziol


On 2013-04-01, at 2:17 PM, Leah Salomaa wrote:


...Me, I always liked Jimmy Carter.
xo KR