Invocation – a prayer for peace

Upcoming Performances in Virginia:

Friday, June 16th @7:00pm at The Global Mennonite Peacebuilding Conference and Festival at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, VA

INFO about the Conference:

Sunday, June 18th @5:00pm at Trinity Church in Staunton, VA

Trinity Church 214 W. Beverley Street · Staunton, VA

“The times are urgent. Let us slow down. Let us make sanctuary.” Báyò Akómoláfé, The Emergence Network

“We implore as human beings to human beings, remember your humanity and forget the rest.” Albert Einstein from the Russell-Einstein Manifesto.

“Invocation – a prayer for peace” is a lyrical, haunting, and powerful new work by composer Colin Pip Dixon for soprano, baritone and string trio. It brings together words from 8th century BCE to the present. Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu prayers alongside writings by poets, a scientist, an environmental activist and civil rights leaders. The world premiere performances in Eugene and Portland feature Grammy Award winning baritone Kenneth Overton and internationally acclaimed soprano Camille Ortiz. The work doesn’t seek to explain or preach, but rather to offer an original music experience, a moment of contemplation through music spent together in “silence” around one of the most urgent questions of our times: do our beliefs drive us further into violence or lead us towards deeper peace and reconciliation? 

The Premiere performances of Invocation took place in Eugene & Portland Oregon on March 3rd, 5th & 7th 2023

Writings by:

  • Frederick Douglas
  • Albert Einstein
  • Etty Hillesum
  • Shantideva
  • St. Francis of Assisi
  • Rabbi Nachman of Breslov
  • Captain Paul Watson
  • Rabia Terri Harris
  • Jalalludin Rumi
  • Bayo Akomolofe 
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr
  • Candogya Upanishad

Interview with Laura Shipler Chico – Peace Builder

Laura Shipler Chico is a senior consultant, freelance writer and peace practitioner who has dedicated her career to supporting local change agents and raising their profile with international audiences. During 25 years of experience in project development and management, Laura has worked extensively with people impacted by armed conflict, genocide, torture and gender-based violence in Africa, Asia and North America. Laura lived in Rwanda after the genocide, working alongside Rwandan peacebuilders to bring together survivors and perpetrators for collective trauma healing and recovery. She worked on the Thai-Myanmar border within the Myanmar democracy movement, with a group of activists who brought together refugee and exiled women from different ethnic groups to build collaborative alliances.  More recently, she has offered consultancy services to international peace organizations, helping to manage and evaluate programs in Burundi, the Central Africa Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali and Pakistan. In collaboration with African Quaker peace activists, she curated an exhibition and book entitled This Light that Pushes Me: Stories of African Peacebuilders. Laura made a mid-life change into professional acting in 2018 and has found that she draws often on her peacebuilding experiences to deepen her empathy and understanding for the characters she inhabits.  She currently works as a professional actor in London alongside her peacebuilding work, and lives with her husband and two sons.


About the Artists

Kenneth Overton vintageKenneth Overton (baritone) is lauded for blending his opulent baritone with magnetic, varied portrayals that seemingly “emanate from deep within body and soul.” Kenneth Overton’s symphonious baritone voice has sent him around the globe, making him one of the most sought-after opera singers of his generation. Kenneth is a 2020 grammy award winner for Best Choral Performance in the title role of Richard Danielpour’s The Passion of Yeshua with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by JoAnn Falletta. Last season, engagements for Kenneth included his Metropolitan Opera debut in the fall of 2021 as Lawyer Frazier in Porgy and Bess, a reprisal of the role of Ralph Abernathy in I Dream with Opera Carolina, The Homecoming Solider in Zach Redler’s The Falling and The Rising with Opera Carolina, and Germont in La Traviata for Fort Worth Opera. He also appeared with the National Philharmonic as a soloist for Mozart’s Requiem as well as Hailstork’s A Knee on the Neck, Nathaniel Dett’s The Ordering of Moses with the Harlem Chamber Players, Handel’s Messiah with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, Mozart’s Requiem with the National Chorale, a solo recital at The Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure University, and debuted Damien Geter’s An African American Requiem with Resonance Ensemble and Oregon Symphony with subsequent performances at the Kennedy Center with Choral Arts Society of Washington. He also appeared in On Site Opera’s The Road We Came, an immersive and site-specific experience that explores the composers, musicians and places that define the rich Black history of New York City.

Camille Ortiz 11Camille Ortiz (soprano) Internationally recognized for compelling performances of baroque and concert repertoire, Puerto Rican soprano Camille Ortiz is quickly establishing herself as a leading operatic artist. The 2021-2022 brought about recitals and masterclasses of Latin American art song across the United States; at the University of Oregon’s Beall Hall; an Ars Lyrica Houston tour of Crossing Borders, a program of Spanish and Latin American baroque repertoire featured in the Music Before 1800 music series in New York City; Pamina in Eugene Opera’s production of The Magic Flute; a masterclass and performance at the Puerto Rico Conservatory; a highly anticipated debut with the Boston Baroque as Oriana in Handel’s Amadigi di Gaula; and an exciting Kennedy Center debut with Opera Lafayette as Elena (Hélène) in their adaptation of Gretry’s Silvain. The 2022-2023 season includes appearances with Opera Orlando as Marie in The Daughter of the Regiment and Galatea in Eugene Opera’s Acis and Galatea, among many other concerts and recitals. She has appeared with the Philhamornia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale, Gulfshore Opera, Magic City Opera, the Naples Philharmonic, the Dallas Bach Society, the Orchestra of New Spain, the Festival of the Aegean in Greece, the Orchestra da Camera Fiorentina (John Rutter conducting), and at Carnegie Hall with MidAm International. She appears in the highly acclaimed CD recording of Rameau’s Le temple de la gloire with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale, conducted by Nicholas McGegan, for which she was named “the stand-out” of the recording by BBC Music Magazine, October 2018. Ms. Ortiz is Assistant Professor of Voice at University of Oregon, School of Music and Dance.

colin-19-1Colin Pip Dixon (violinist & composer) born and raised in New York City. He lived and worked in Paris, France for many years and has called Eugene, Oregon home since 2017. From 1999 – 2016 he worked on many projects with the French theater company Théâtre de l’Arc-en-Ciel (newly named Compagnie de la Prémière Seconde) as violinist, composer and/or music director and actor (La Cerisaie, Etty Hillesum, Les Tolsoï – journal intime, La Première Seconde, Quand les Poilus étaient Poètes, Prélude à l’Anastasis, Tchékhov Triptyque, etc.) and he is a founding member and co-artistic director of The Elsewhere Ensemble. Both of these groups, among others, have taken him to perform all throughout France, and in Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, London, Edinburgh, Quebec, Lebanon, Armenia, New York City, Boston and Oregon. In Eugene he performs regularly with groups such as the Eugene Symphony, Oregon Mozart Players, Chamber Music Amici, Eugene Opera and microphilharmonic. Recent commissions as a composer include: Chaucer’s The Rooster & the Fox for Chamber Music Amici (performed at The Shedd), songs in the collaborative work Birds Flying Through for A2 Productions (October 2022), Beethoven in the Stars for the Pacific University Philharmonic. Colin is also a guild certified Feldenkrais Method practitioner and has taught many workshops for musicians in New York, Paris, at the University of Oregon, Oregon, Pacific University, for the past three ASTA (American String Teachers Association) National Conferences and at Virtuosity.Online. With the Elsewhere Ensemble he has conceived and composed the music for Chekhov Triptych; The Happy Prince; Icarus Quartet, His Majesty, the Devil; The Velveteen Rabbit; among others.


Version 3Originally from Paris, Arnaud Ghillebaert (viola) has performed as an orchestra musician with The Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields (Sir Neville Mariner) and the London Symphony Orchestra. He toured Europe for two summers with the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra under the baton of Sir Colin Davis and Herbert Blomstedt in venues such as the Royal Albert Hall in London or the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and has been a member of the Artosphere Festival Orchestra (Corrado Rovaris, musical director) for many years and a former member of the New Haven Symphony. He played in the Southbank Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra in England for one year and appeared in London’s National Theatre production of Tom Stoppard’s and Andre Previn’s Every Good Boy Deserves Favour. A founding member and co-artistic director of the Elsewhere Ensemble, in 2013 he created the role of the Shadow in His Majesty the Devil-a play with music. The show, inspired by Dostoyevsky, was performed at 59E59 Theaters in New York City, Fringe NYC, and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. A dedicated chamber musician, he was invited to perform at the Louis Moreau Institute in New Orleans and in the “Starry Nights” music series at the Staller Center for the Arts at Stony Brook University alongside Colin Carr, Eugene Drucker (Emerson String Quartet) and Nick Cords (Silkroad Ensemble, Brooklyn Rider). He received his Masters from the Royal College of Music in London and completed his Doctorate in Violin and Viola performance at Stony Brook University in 2016. He has been the viola instructor at the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance (Eugene, OR) since Fall 2017. Since arriving in Oregon he has performed regularly in the Oregon Bach Festival, is currently the principal violist of the Eugene Symphony, Eugene Opera and the Oregon Mozart Players, and has been playing regularly with Chamber Music Amici and microphilharmonic.

Brunhaver headshot (4)Cellist Kathryn Brunhaver currently lives in Eugene, OR where she is a member of the Elsewhere Ensemble and Eugene Symphony. She has appeared as a guest artist with Chamber Music Amici, microphilharmonic, Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra, Columbia River Chamber Music Festival, Icicle Creek Chamber Music Festival, Astoria Music Festival Orchestra, and as Principal Cello with Orchestra NEXT, among others. She completed a Doctorate in Cello Performance at the University of Oregon in 2017 and was named Outstanding Graduate Performer. Kathryn enjoys exploring innovative ways of playing the cello and has earned a reputation for specializing in new music, which has included premiering works for solo vocalizing cellist, as well as composing works for herself. This interest in new music extends across genres and has led her to join two regionally-acclaimed bands in Oregon—Satori Bob and Halie and the Moon. She also performs as a solo singer- songwriter under the name Queen of Cups. Kathryn holds a Master’s degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and a Bachelor’s degree from the Peabody Institute, where she was the recipient of the Ruth Blaustein Rosenberg Orchestral Scholarship and the prestigious Presser Undergraduate Scholar Award. She currently teaches cello at Willamette University.

Elsewhere Trio crop 1The Elsewhere Ensemble ( “Words which sing, notes that speak.” Many of Elsewhere’s performances bring music together with stories, poetry and theater. Their works combine the old with the new – literature or stories from the past come to life through new music; or classical music repertoire is presented with new writing or in new ways…always in the belief that classical music and literature shouldn’t be for an elite but are a human necessity. In recent years they have presented Icarus Quartet, Chekhov Triptych – three Chekhov stories in concert, The Happy Prince (based on the Oscar Wilde tale), and Letter to Brahms, Beethoven in the Stars, among other original works. The group has performed in New York, Paris, Montreal, Beirut, Lyon, Brussels, Boston, and Portland and have also participated in both the Edinburgh and New York International Fringe Festivals. The Ensemble has been based in Eugene, Oregon since 2018 and was officially created in France in 2012.