Grinnell College musicians to perform tribute to immigrants in Marshalltown

April 14 performance will support the work of a legal clinic serving immigrants, refugees

The Grinnell Singers and the Grinnell Oratorio Society from Grinnell College will perform in Marshalltown on Saturday, April 14, as part of “Hand in Hand: Celebrate Justice for Our Neighbors.”

This event will recognize the work of the Justice for Our Neighbors' Immigration and Refugee Legal Clinic in Marshalltown. The free, public concert will begin at 4 p.m. in First United Methodist Church of Marshalltown, 202 W. Main St.

The Grinnell Oratorio Society and the Grinnell Singers will jointly perform composer Caroline Shaw’s “To The Hands,” a moving tribute to compassion for immigrants and refugees. Shaw received a Pulitzer Prize for music at age 30 in 2013. There also will be a special showing of a short video, titled "Proud to be Diverse," featuring Marshalltown Community School District students reciting a poem by Jo Frohwein.

The Grinnell Singers is a 50-voice choral ensemble directed by John Rommereim, the Blanche Johnson professor of music at Grinnell College. Known for their innovative and adventurous choral programming, the Grinnell Singers have premiered more than 10 choral works in the past five years under Rommereim’s direction. Each year the choir presents concerts across the U.S., and the group has also traveled to Estonia, Finland, Russia, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey.

Founded in 1901, the Grinnell Oratorio Society was, in the early decades of the 20th Century, one of Iowa's most renowned musical institutions. In 2010, the Grinnell Community Chorus was renamed the Grinnell Oratorio Society as a way to draw attention to this proud history. The choir rehearses Monday nights, and it draws together students, faculty, and staff of the college, people from the city of Grinnell and nearby cities such as Newton and Malcolm.