sheltering voices

 Eureka Ensemble uses classical music as a platform for social action and community engagement. Each Eureka project centers around a specific social cause and community through partnerships with local organizations to make an impact through music and the orchestral experience. Their major project for the 2017–18 season will center around homeless women who receive support from shelters in Boston and Cambridge, MA. I will be writing a mass for orchestra and women’s choir, with lyrics by poet and women’s rights advocate Jessica Lynn Suchon, whose creative work is about shedding the shame and stigma around discussing female-related trauma. 

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The Eureka Ensemble is a collective of 42 of Boston’s finest young professional musicians dedicated to transcending the boundary between art and social action. Eureka brings together people from all walks of life through immersive, interactive performances and direct engagement & outreach. We use our love of classical music to shed light on the problems society faces from homelessness and obesity to racism and xenophobia and create partnerships with local and national organizations to further musical outreach activities in inner city schools, libraries, and civic centers. 

Jessica Lynn Suchon is a poet, essayist, and women’s rights advocate. She is an MFA candidate at Southern Illinois University where she has received recognition from The Academy of American Poets. In 2016, Jessica was named an Emerging Writer Fellow by Aspen Words, a partner of The Aspen Institute. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Yemassee, Radar Poetry, Connotation Press, decomP magazinE, Rust + Moth, and A Shadow Map: An Anthology by Survivors of Sexual Assault, among others. She lives and writes in Carbondale, Illinois with her boyfriend Josh Myers and their dog Gracie.

Kristo Kondakçi is an active young conductor in Boston. He is the founder and music director of the Eureka Ensemble, a collective of Boston's finest young musicians with the mission of using classical music as a platform for social action and community engagement. Kristo is also the assistant conductor of the Boston Landmarks Orchestra and conducting fellow of the Boston Philharmonic. His other conducting activities include concerts with the National Albanian Orchestra, North End Music & Performing Arts Center and projects with Music for Food and East Coast Scoring. Kristo holds a Master’s Degree in Conducting (2015) and a Bachelor's Degree in Composition (2013) from the New England Conservatory, where he was named a Beneficent Society Scholar (2013) and hailed as NEC's Scholarship Star (2012). He believes that classical music has a powerful role in society as a metaphor for teamwork and community and was recently named a cultural representative of the Albanian Diaspora by the Albanian Embassy in Washington, D.C. and by the Albanian Government for his work in using music to bring the Albanian community together.