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Letters, March 3

Repertory Singers concert exceptional

On Sunday, the Southern Oregon Repertory Singers took us on a journey from our current cultural desert to a garden of “comfort and hope” (Dr. Paul French, SORS musical director).

“A Sheen of Dew on Flowers” featured a world premiere of composer-in-residence Jodi French’s Scripture-informed and Celtic music-inspired gem, “The stranger among you.” This rich poetic-musical reflection on the imperative to see strangers in our midst as truly belonging to us echoed Hebrew scripture:

“The stranger who dwells among you

Shall be as one born among you.”

Then, for an hour, British composer Joby Talbot animated our spirits with glimpses of human love taken from women poets throughout the ages. Through seven poetic vignettes, undergirded by “vibrant music that is at once intimate and cinematic in scope” (French), the exceptionally fine chorus, instrumentalists, and soloists, mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor and baritone Theo Hoffman, guided us on a tour of love from its blossoming to its earthly ending — recalling the legendary love of Queen Victoria for Prince Albert, who died some 40 years before Queen Victoria, leaving her bereft.

The concert’s “grand and transformative and expansive” quality (Richard Seidman, SORS executive director) transported us from the current desert of human division and alienation to the possible garden of human connection and love.

Real comfort and hope, indeed.

Daniel Murphy

Ashland

Vote them out

Let’s see — Do Republicans actually do anything?

Oh, yeah: Nationally, they betray their oaths of office, they steal judicial appointments and refuse hearings, they boycott evidence being considered, refuse bringing votes to the Senate floor, they gerrymander districts, weaken voting rights, and don’t defend elections from Russian and other foreign interference, they cage children and threaten all our future generations via inaction, they deny science and climate change, cut health services and dismiss disease control experts and funding that actually protects us, they appoint part-time flunkies and support an entirely corrupt president. Here in Oregon, they just walk off their jobs in the Legislature, hide, and refuse to even provide a quorum to find solutions, vote or even address the serious issues we truly face.

Their bankrupt “vision” is destroying our democracy and undermining the credibility of our nation and our state. Do what you can, loudly. Let ’em know and then vote them out!

Rob Hirschboeck

Ashland

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