Victory at Arnot – premiere on May 20

By Eleanor Aversa
April 21, 2016 3:27 pm

After several years of preparation, I am excited to finally premiere Victory at Arnot. The piece is for trio and narrator and depicts a little-known event from American history. In 1899, Mary “Mother” Jones led an army of women to victory over a mining corporation. The story celebrates the power non-violent resistance and creative problem solving, and it explores the history of labor rights and working immigrants. I based the text on research I did at the Historical Society of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania Library, among others. Text from Mother Jones’ actual speeches is used with kind permission and assistance of the University of Pittsburgh Digital Research Library. Political scientist Kristen Wall helped with the script.

Our narrator is professional storyteller Megan Hicks, whose storytelling awards and honors include Parents’ Choice, Storytellers World, The Audies, NAPPA, Parents’ Guide to Children’s Media, and National Storyteller of the Year. Flutist Elivi Varga has performed with such ensembles as the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, and the Louisiana Sinfonietta, and has served as principal flute of the Philadelphia Wind Symphony. Violinist Andreia Torain has performed with the Philadelphia Classical Symphony, Delaware Symphony, and the Newtown Chamber Orchestra. I will be at the piano. Andreia, Elivi, and I are all faculty members at Settlement, which is hosting this premiere.

Audio clips:

1. Overture

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2. Life in the mines

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3. Mother Jones rallies the people

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4. Daily parades

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5. “Up the mountainside came the army of women…”

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6. Victory Hoedown!

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7. Epilogue: “The fight for justice never ends.”

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