Complaints Choirs are trending all over the globe. Helsinki. Birmingham. St. Petersberg. And now Miami.
Earlier this year, the Director of the FIU Choirs Mark Aliapoulios was approached by Regina Bailey, Assistant Director of Academic Initiatives at The Wolfsonian-FIU about forming a “Complaints Choir” to perform at the opening of their festival, “The Power of Design 2014: Complaints.” Mr. Aliapoulios stated, “not only would this be a lot of fun for the students, but it would be a fantastic outreach opportunity for the School of Music and the FIU Concert Choir.” He was given a list of 500 complaints and their possible solutions compiled by the FIU Honors College and went to work on fashioning a piece of music that incorporated his favorite complaints to the rhythm of the Columbian folk tune “Prende la Vela.”
According to Regina Bailey, “This collaboration makes sense. The Wolfsonian always try to showcase the brightest of FIU’s music students to the community. Since the complaints have been collected from FIU students across campus, it stands to reason that FIU students should be showcased in this event.”
What is a complaints choir? It is simply a choir that sings complaints. Only this time, the nature of the complaints is solution-oriented. “The Power of Design” is not a gripe fest. Instead, it’s a solutions think tank, ” said Cathy Leff, The Wolfsonian’s Director. “The theme of complaints allows us to connect a way of interpreting our collection to the issues and events of our time and to engage in a conversation with and about our community.” The festival is presented by The Wolfsonian-FIU and WLRN in partnership with the Miami Herald, with $200,000 in support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
Audiences will be able to hear the FIU Complaints Choir sing at the opening of The Wolfsonian’s exhibit on Thursday, March 20th at 7pm and 8pm. Free admission.
To see the FIU Complaint Choir during rehearsal, click here.
WLRN’s Christine Dimattei stopped by to find out more about the choir. To read the story, click here.