The Birth of the Dallas Street Choir

Encore Park’s motto is “Building Community at the Crossroads of Creativity and Caring.” It is inspired by the example of The Stewpot’s decades-long commitment to this very thing. While the Open Art Studio may be the most well-known example of The Stewpot’s work to nurture creativity for homeless and at-risk individuals, other examples of nurture include the annual Halloween Talent Show, and the Community Concerts.

 Last year, The Dallas Street Choir was born from the experience of creating an “All of Sudden Stewpot Choir” for the Community Concerts, directed by Jonathon Palant, it represents a collaboration between The Credo Choir and The Stewpot. The Dallas Street Choir strives to provide a musical outlet for those experiencing homelessness and disadvantage in a safe and affirming environment.  The culmination of their work was a moving performance of STREET REQUIEM, a new work by Australian composers, Jonathon Welch, Kathleen McGuire, Andy Payne, on January 25, 2015 at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. Before the premiere of STREET REQUIEM, the Dallas Street Choir performed several uplifting songs and at one point, world-renowned Mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade –one of the soloists for the REQUIEM slipped onto the stage to sing with the Street Choir. 

During the performance, a list of the names of Dallas homeless individuals who had died in 2014 and 2015 was shown behind the performers. The Stewpot maintains a list of those who have died and has a yearly memorial service to commemorate their lives.  photo credit: Carol J. Adams

During the performance, a list of the names of Dallas homeless individuals who had died in 2014 and 2015 was shown behind the performers. The Stewpot maintains a list of those who have died and has a yearly memorial service to commemorate their lives.  photo credit: Carol J. Adams

Frederica von Stade joins the Dallas Street Choir during the January 25 performance.  photo credit Carol J. Adams

Frederica von Stade joins the Dallas Street Choir during the January 25 performance.  photo credit Carol J. Adams

A standing ovation greeted all the performers at the end of the concern, as many of the audience also wiped away tears.

On January 25, 2015 at the Dallas City Performance Hall, CREDO Choir was joined by the Dallas Street Choir, the Richland College Chamber Singers, and soloists, Frederica von Stade and Jonathon Welch in a performance of STREET REQUIEM (Kathleen McGuire, Andy Payne, Jonathon Welch). This video (filmed and edited by Jonathan Palant) opened the concert.