"I’d been following the story of Malala Yousafzai for some time when I heard her address to the UN general assembly in Fall of 2013. I decided at that moment to compose an ode to her for Aurora Chorus' inaugural International Women’s Day concert, entitled: The Rising of the Women Is the Rising of Us All. Inspired by her courage and mission, I've created a work that is strong, direct and with a powerful feminine fluidity— like Malala herself. A "rap” on a quote from her UN speech occurs in the middle of the piece and lends Malala a contemporary feel." —Joan Szymko (for audio, play imbedded YouTube video)
Malala Yousafzai was already known as an advocate for girls' education in her native Pakistan when she survived 3 gunshot wounds to the head at the hands of the Taliban in 2012. After the attack young people around the world stood up in solidarity saying, “I am Malala.” Since her miraculous recovery, she has become a global advocate for children's education and the youngest person ever to recieve a Nobel Peace Prize nomination.