September 7, 2022

Together In Hope Project announces U.S. Premier of “The Stranger” to Raise Awareness and Funds for Refugees Worldwide

Two October performances in the Twin Cities will shine a light on the plight of refugees and displaced persons


The Together In Hope Project announced that the U.S. premiere of its new musical project “The Stranger” will feature two performances at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in Saint Paul, Minn., on Oct. 15-16. Together In Hope Project commissioned “The Stranger” to raise global awareness about refugees and displaced persons and is raising funds for humanitarian aid for refugees in partnership with USA for UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency).

The Together In Hope Choir will perform “The Stranger,” on Saturday, Oct. 15, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 16, at 3:30 p.m. The choir is a community of 54 premier artists primarily from the Twin Cities area, under the direction of Mark Stover, artistic director of the Together In Hope Project. Tickets for the concerts are now available for purchase at

“We started Together In Hope Project to focus the transformative power of music on issues of our shared humanity, and the plight of refugees is one of the most critical issues of our time,” said Gary Aamodt, co-founder, Together In Hope Project. “It is our hope that this work will awaken and activate all who hear it to work for a world where all are respected, included and welcome.”

More than 100 million people worldwide have been forced to flee their homes – the highest level of displacement on record – and the coronavirus pandemic only intensifies the challenge refugees face. To increase global awareness of the refugee crisis, Together In Hope Project partnered with USA for UNHCR. UNHCR is the world’s leading organization aiding and protecting people forced to flee their homes due to violence, conflict and persecution.

UNHCR provides shelter, food, water, medical care and other lifesaving assistance to refugees around the world. Donations to USA for UNHCR can be made here:

Written by composer Kim André Arnesen, “The Stranger” was premiered at the opening concert for Trondheim International Olavsfest in Norway on July 28. Arnesen, who is one of the most frequently performed contemporary choral composers, called “The Stranger” a “genre-defying work” with elements from folk and traditional music, world music, pop and jazz, working in unison with the texts to bind the world together.

“Our hope is that the artistry and message of the text of ‘The Stranger’ can be a catalyst for raising awareness of the plight of refugees and awakening people around the world to understanding the nature of this crisis,” Artistic Director Mark Stover said. “Music has a special capacity to move people. This concert was specifically designed to activate advocacy for refugees and displaced persons. There are millions of people waiting for a helping hand in their time of most desperate need, and we can all do more to support them.”

The text of “The Stranger” was developed and integrated by Together In Hope Project co-founders Celia Ellingson and Gary Aamodt. It includes first-person immigrant poetry and religious texts from the world’s major faith traditions – drawn from work initiated by António Guterres, now Secretary General of the United Nations and previously the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

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