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MANCHESTER — Students from Burr and Burton Academy and Maple Street School will join a professional a cappella group for a performance in Manchester on April 25.

The Counterpoint a cappella group will perform the world premiere of Six Degrees at 6 p.m. at the First Congregational Church. Tickets are $10 at Northshire Bookstore in advance, or $15 at the door. Students are $5 with ID.

The title refers to the predicted cataclysmic results of warming the planet by 6 degrees Celsius. The performance continues a legacy of activism by the group begun by founder Robert De Cormier who worked to deliver a message of peace and justice through his compositions and arrangement of folk music. According to the group's press release, "temperatures all over the globe are reaching unprecedented levels and in the past few years, our country has experienced the most destructive wildfires and extreme weather events in recorded history."

Through music, narration and video, Six Degrees bring an environmental message to a new generation, educating students of all ages how climate change threatens our survival and how green alternatives, renewables and sustainability can address these dangers. After the Manchester performance, Counterpoint will present school workshops and public concerts in Fairlee on May 23 and Weston July 14.

The concert will feature three selections.

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The first incorporates indigenous and contemporary folk music from all six inhabited continents and relates to specific cultural, social and environmental issues linked to the natural elements of earth, air, fire and water. The middle section climaxes with the depiction of a catastrophic warming of 6 degrees C, followed by an optimistic musical presentation of mitigating global warming through green technology, energy efficiency, renewables and sustainability. The work concludes with a joyous medley of world music celebrating humanity in balance with nature, in which the performers and audience are encouraged to care for the earth.

The lead sponsor for the Six Degrees workshops and concerts is Same Sun of Vermont, owned by Philip and Marlene Allen of the Rutland, who have children in the music department at BBA.

Other local sponsors include Northshire Bookstore and Small Batch Organics.

Members of the Burr and Burton Academy chorus, some of whom are fresh from performing at Carnegie Hall, and Maple Street middle school students, will join Counterpoint to perform the world premiere concert of Six Degrees.

The concert will also feature the premiere of Prayer for Mother Earth, an original composition by Counterpoint baritone Kevin Quigley, set to the text by the Penobscot Abenaki elder Frank "Big Thunder" Loring.

There will be a reception hosted by the climate justice group Earth Matters following the concert at which the audience will have the opportunity to meet the singers, browse informational materials provided by local environmental groups, and partake of healthy treats. For more information about Six Degrees, go to www.counterpointchorus.org, call 802-540-1784 or email contact@counterpointchorus.org.


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