BC Choir Presents: Hope in the Darkness

BC's indoor theater main entrance

Friday, April 19, 2024

By Deanna Rea

The Bakersfield College Performing Arts Department is proud to announce their upcoming performance for the spring semester: Hope in the Darkness. This concert aims to promote awareness of Human Trafficking through the selection of powerful music and coming together as a community.

The performance is directed by Dr. Jennifer M. Garrett, who will be accompanied by Patrick Bender and Alicia Ellsworth as collaborative panelists. The special performance will feature the Bakersfield College Choirs, the Bakersfield Master Chorale, and the Chamber Orchestra, made up of instrumentalists from the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra.

Originally inspired by the film “Sound of Freedom,” Director Garrett ventured deeper into a powerful feeling by posing the question: “What can I do?” She says, “...But I was quite afraid to undertake such a dark topic. Then I met someone who was a survivor of human trafficking. Her experience shocked and horrified me - the thought of human trafficking happening to someone I knew and so close to home was frightening. That is [why] I decided that this concert had to happen.” But it has not been without its challenges:

“This has been one of the most difficult concerts to put together in my career,” the director says. “This concert means a great deal to me and, I hope, to everyone involved. This concert truly pulls together many musicians and community groups and I believe wholeheartedly in coming together to make a difference.”

Several community groups will be attending to provide information to attendees, including The Open Door Network, Kern County Dept. of Human Services, Redeemed Home, Helping Us, Kern Coalition Against Human Trafficking, Global Family/Daughter Project, and Magdalene Hope. At the end of the concert, Dr. Doug Bennett, the founder of Magdalene Hope, will provide statistics and information alongside a survivor of human trafficking who will speak about her experience and how she found hope.

“Our hope is that the audience, singers, and instrumentalists will have a greater understanding of human trafficking and want to make a difference. We also want everyone to be inspired to find hope even in the midst of great challenges in their own lives. If we all lived with a greater sense of hope I know that the world would be a happier, more patient, and more peaceful place,” says Dr. Garrett. “We sincerely hope that the audience will be full as we create awareness and take a stand against human trafficking. This will be a concert I know I will never forget.”

Hope in the Darkness takes place on Saturday, April 20, 2024, from 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM in the Bakersfield College Edward Simonsen Indoor Theatre. Over half of the tickets have been sold already, and are available online and at the door: $12 for general admission; $8 for BC Students, veterans, seniors, and faculty.