Album Review

Peninsula Women’s Chorus (Patricia Hennings, Director) – “Music In a Prison Camp: a Women’s Vocal Orchestra” – [None]

Cousin Mary   11/3/2010   12-inch, A Library

This 1982 concert at Stanford University occurred when the Peninsula Women’s Chorus was sponsored by Foothill College. It recreates a concert that was sung by women in prison camps where Caucasians were detained by the Japanese in Sumatra during World War II. After the women ran out of songs that they could remember, these arrangements were written by Margaret Dryburgh (who composed the last song) using her memory of classical music.

It’s very moving to think of what this beautiful music must have meant to the women and children in these desperate, horrible conditions. The concerts ended after 19 of the 30 singers died; mortality in the camps was 37.1%. The introduction is by Helen Coljin, who was in this camp with her sisters.

Very nice recording, very well sung. The Peninsula Women’s Chorus is still in existence. Patricia Hennings directed PWC until her death in 2001. This story was made into the movie Paradise Road in 1997.

you heard it 27 times on kfjc! most recently:
  • 1266 days ago, Phil Phactor played Spoken Introduction By Helen Coljin
  • 1266 days ago, Phil Phactor played Largo - New World Symphony - Dvorak
  • 2760 days ago, Naysayer played Unfinished Symphony - First Movement - Schubert
  • 2980 days ago, Mickey Slim played Largo - New World Symphony - Dvorak
  • 3280 days ago, Cinderaura played Morning - Peer Gynt Suite - Grieg
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