In the summer of 2014, I received an email from the director of the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus asking me if I would be interested in writing something for their upcoming tour of Israel and Turkey (the first gay chorus to do so!). Specifically, he was interested in a work about the concept of “peace.” This was a huge ask because that region of the world has been fraught with ethnic and religious conflict for centuries, and I thought it might be seen as rude to travel to these communities and ask why everyone couldn’t simply just get along. The concept I eventually landed on was that peace wasn’t just the absence of war but also the moments in our lives when we feel at peace. No matter where a given person is from or what ideology they espouse we could all relate to that.

The only problem was finding a text that was about something that specific. In order to solve this problem, I went to the chorus members themselves and had them anonymously complete the phrase “I was at peace when…” as many times as they wanted. They responded with an honesty that was at times brutal but gracious at the same time, and the work we took to the Middle East is made up entirely of their beautiful life stories.

peace was commissioned by the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus for their historic 2015 tour of Israel and Turkey. It is dedicated to their fearless conductor, Reuben M. Reynolds III, and the men of the chorus themselves with gratitude for the incredible work they do in their community and the broader world. It is the first movement in what eventually became a four-movement cycle about their experiences on the tour (which included the passage of nation-wide marriage equality while they were touring the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul), titled capable of anything.

Beth Beauchamp

Having worked as a professional musician, a music-educator, and the Executive Director of a number of non-profit arts organizations, Beth has over 10 years of experience in catering to the unique needs of artists. Beth believes that the talent, education, and skill-sets of her clients have inherent worth. As a passionate artist advocate, she aims to help her artists improve the quality of their own lives by encouraging them to honor the value of their own work, and by creating materials which allow them to champion their art with confidence. Equally interested in building community, Beth aims to create a roster of artists who are excited to support and collaborate together.