Sunday, November 19, 2017

SUFFRAGIST SONGS | Valerie diLorenzo

L to R: Amanda Borsack Jones, John Tepper Marlin and
Valerie diLorenzo. A rousing show.
November 19, 2017 – Valerie diLorenzo brought the mostly female crowd to their feet today after she smoothly belted out 15 songs dedicated to votes for women.

The event, titled "Ladies of Liberty", celebrated the 100th anniversary of the right of women to vote being recognized by the male voters and government of the State of New York.

The musical director was Amanda Borsack Jones. An East Hampton native, she accompanied Valerie on the piano, provided occasional background music for the commentary between songs, and sang the alto part for some of the songs.

The full audience at the Southampton Arts Center joined in singing four songs that were included in the program. I thought "The Right of Every Woman" (sung to the tune of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic") was especially effective, and also "Claim Our Liberty" (to the tune of "My Country 'Tis of Thee").

Among the series of solos, especially memorable was "You Don't Own Me".

Valerie is a versatile singer and raconteur, comfortable at the microphone. She has sung the national anthem for the Mets for more than 15 seasons. Her list of singing and acting credits is long.

It was a fun evening and after the event I got to spend some time with friends:
  • The Fensterers, musician Janet and singer Victoria, who recently got married.
  • Cathy Peacock, who helped organize the event.
  • Other officers of the League of Women Voters of the Hamptons.
I'm hoping that the last of the one-time competitive friction between the predecessor of the League, NAWSA (the National American Woman Suffrage Association), and the National Woman's Party can be ended. 

I thought The New York Times expressed it well in a contemporary editorial when they said that the "gold pen" of credit for getting the 19th Amendment passed goes to NAWSA and the "silver inkstand" of credit goes to the mostly younger people who created the more activist authority-challenging NWP.

The story of how Woodrow Wilson changed his mind about supporting the Anthony Amendment needs to be told whenever its passage is celebrated.

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