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Our Songs, Our Stories

Our Songs, Our Stories generates original musical works by, for and with the young people of Uniting Voices Chicago, with a particular focus on untold stories, historically underrepresented voices and 21st century sounds. This consortium of composers and creators delivers fresh content relevant to the next generation of global leaders.


Mitchell Owens

Mitchell Owens (Uniting Voices Chicago Alum) is a composer, arranger, singer and instrumentalist. Beginning as a drummer at the age of two, Mitchell’s musical gifts were later nurtured through 10 years in Uniting Voices Chicago (formerly Chicago Children’s Choir) under the direction and mentorship of Josephine Lee. Owens studied percussion formally with Patricia Dash of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Douglas Waddell of the Lyric Opera Orchestra as part of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Percussion Scholarship Program and studied piano at DePaul University with Regina Serkin.

Mitchell’s compositions embrace a variety of musical styles and mediums, with a passion for ensuring that musicians of all cultural backgrounds are free to express their own culture in their music. He wants his music to be universal. As Composer-in-Residence for Uniting Voices Chicago, Mitchell is excited and honored to contribute to the organization that has played such a pivotal role in his musical development.

Commissions include:

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our latest single


Enter the Multiverse! Our latest original song is composed by Josephine Lee, Uniting Voices President, and features vocals from alum Vasil Garvanliev. “Multiverse” is a composition that reflects the parallel universe we currently live in trying to grapple with multiple realities.

Dum vita est, spes est - where there is life, there is hope.

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Our latest original single by Uniting Voices Chicago Composer-in-Residence W. Mitchell Owens III was written to honor our decades-long impact—and potent, powerful future. This upbeat song aims to bring together voices from all sides of a divided society to sing as one: as people united.

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Summer 2022

Rainbow Beach

Rainbow Beach is a full-length musical production inspired by true events in 1961 that led to the desegregation of beaches on the south side of Chicago. The piece of living history recounts the wade-ins, a form of nonviolent protest in which demonstrators demanded equal access by stepping into whites-only waters, and speaks truthfully to the violence that ensued.

A reading workshop of Rainbow Beach took place on July 22, and feedback from that presentation are being used to further develop this unique project.

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Our Latest Album

Long Way Home

Long Way Home, a hip-hop version of Homer’s Odyssey written and directed by Q Brothers Collective, premiered at the Studebaker Theatre in 2018 and was released as a full cast recording in 2021.

The story follows Ody, a young rapper who wants to share her voice with the world. She and her friends, hailing from the sometimes troubled Ithaca neighborhood, enter an open mic on the opposite side of the city. As the evening takes an unexpected turn, the crew finds themselves on a magical El train ride through the city of Chicago. What starts as just another Friday turns into a wild adventure across their city, exploring the music they love. Most importantly, they learn about confidence, collaboration, and the power of friendship.

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"Just a Dream"

By Jamion Cotten

Jamion Cotten, a member of Dimension and formerly of the Austin Neighborhood Choir, wrote this original song, which was given a full arrangement by Uniting Voices Chicago Composer-in-Residence and Choir alumnus Mitchell Owens and performed by Voice of Chicago in 2020.

Want to dive into composition? Uniting Voices Chicago works with young people to make their musical ideas a reality.
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Stage Show

Sita Ram

Sita Ram is a modern interpretation of the ancient Hindu epic Ramayana, fusing the past, present, and future in a fantastical world of song, dance, fashion, and design that leads its audience on a path of reflection and self-discovery. This 3,000-year old legend follows Rama, who must save the world from the evil demon King Ravana. But when Ravana steals Rama’s love and soulmate, Sita, it takes all of the world’s creatures, lead by Rama’s devotee Hanuman, to come to the prince’s aid, defeat Ravana and his demon retinue and restore balance and harmony to the universe.

Sita Ram is a wedding of art, youth and the ancient themes of human nature and Heroism.

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