For our program tonight, Voices on the Hill, Interchange producers Doug Storm and Trish Kerlé wend their way through Rose Hill Cemetery accompanied by Voces Novae, a local chamber choir under the artistic direction of Sue Swaney.
On May 17th Voces Novae gathered at the gates of Rose Hill Cemetery to begin what they termed a “musical walking tour” of the cemetery. The group, along with an audience which seemed to grow in number as they moved from stone to stone, walked to a designated gravesite and then Sue Swaney would speak a bit about the person buried there and then a song would be sung in tribute to that person (and “in tune” with that person’s biography or achievements).
But we’re going to plant the songs sung by Voces Novae like peonies around the gravestones.
This is the story of Rose Hill told by 3 people who have different relationships with the Cemetery. Together their stories will offer some new perspectives on a 200-year-old outdoor museum in Bloomington that, up until now, may have been all but invisible to citizens.
Also performing in the cemetery were Cindy Kallet and Grey Larsen, local folk musicians who released a much acclaimed album in 2007 titled Cross the Water.
We bring you this Interchange in two parts. In our first segment we’ll hear from the most powerful man in Bloomington, Jay Davidson, Sexton of the Rose Hill Cemetery and self-styled King of the Dead and in the second we’ll meet two keepers of the dead, Sally Gaskill and Lou Malcomb, both of whom work to keep what was lost found.
Of related interest: