Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered his 1941 State of the Union Address with an eye toward America’s involvement in the European war. In the speech, he presented his case for aid to Great Britain and for increased production of war materials. In helping Britain, President Roosevelt stated, the United States was fighting for the universal freedoms that all people possessed. As America entered the war these “four freedoms” — the freedom of speech, the freedom of worship, the freedom from want, and the freedom from fear — symbolized the benefits of world-wide democracy for which America would fight, and became a monument to our modern conception of universal human rights.
Music Celebrations International is pleased to present a special choral event dedicated to those freedoms, and to the great man behind them – the Four Freedoms Choral Festival. The festival will feature a combined force of mixed voices singing en masse with a professional orchestra in Merchant Hall at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas, Virginia, and will take place in the shadow of the 75th Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor – which took place the same year as Roosevelt’s landmark speech.
Dr. Gary R. Schwartzhoff, Director of Choral Activities at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, will provide artistic direction for Four Freedoms Choral Festival. A special commissioned work by Ethan Wickman, renowned composer and Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Texas at San Antonio, will premiere at the festival performance. The commissioned work will include text from Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms and other presidential speeches, as well as additional inspirational texts that reflect on the freedoms of speech and worship, and freedoms from want and fear.
The Four Freedoms Choral Festival chorus will be anchored by The Master Singers, a community chamber ensemble from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and is conducted by Dr. Schwartzhoff.
To learn more about the festival, or how to participate as an individual singer or with a chorus, please use the form below: