Give Peace a Chance

Some think a dove flies over the holiday season: It’s the time of year when we think about peace on Earth and goodwill toward men, and we really mean it. Julie Davis and her friends at the Swallow Hill Music Association picked up on that peace-and-love vibe several years ago and turned it into a powerful vocal affirmation, the Swallow Hill Peace Concert.

“The concert started in 2002, before the war in Iraq started,” recalls Davis, who coordinates the event. “At the time, people were feeling strongly that diplomacy was not being tried. They felt ardently about it, and they wanted to speak out.” That first concert was such a success that the tradition continued, bolstered by the anti-war atmosphere that’s surrounded the U.S. campaign in Iraq from its start.

More recently, Davis took a cue from similar events in other parts of the country and instigated a silent format with no speaking from the stage: Each artist comes on stage and performs, without any commentary or introduction. “We just let the power of music speak for itself,” she says. And it must be a good thing, because many audience members return again and again.

Tonight’s program, at 7 p.m. at Swallow Hill, 71 East Yale Avenue, might include newly written songs, old standard anti-war anthems and music from as far back as the Middle Ages, all delivered by an eclectic mix of Swallow Hill mainstays, new faces and rotating returnees. But one thing is sure: Each song will deliver the correct punch. “Peace begins inside each one of us,” Davis notes. Amen.

Go to or call 303-777-1003.
Sun., Dec. 14, 7 p.m., 2008

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd

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