Making the World Beautiful, One Stitch at a Time

It was a surprise like no other. In cahoots with Philip Brunelle, Kay’s husband Mike commissioned five women composers to write a song based on one of Kay’s quilts. She was speechless at the reveal. “I can’t tell you how excited I am about this project,” Kay described later with tears in her eyes. “This is going to be a fabulous concert.”

Natives of Minnesota, Kay and her husband Mike McCarthy are tireless advocates for new music, and were the commissioners of The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass that VocalEssence premiered in 2007. When the time came for a gift for Kay, Mike decided to tie two of her passions together—commissioning and quilting.

Kay has created more than 300 quilts in her tenure, many of which have been exhibited both locally and nationally. “I read a book to my grandchildren where it urges them sometime in their lives to make the world more beautiful, and this is my attempt,” said Kay, humbly.

Quilt Songs draws texture and color from different artistic disciplines, unifying them in a single dazzling song cycle. It includes one song each by Alice Parker, Libby Larsen, Carol Barnett, Ysaÿe Barnwell, and Gabriela Frank.

Hear Kay’s story, and attend the premiere of Quilt Songs at The Voyage this October. Come early to browse an exhibit of Kay’s quilts, and hear her describe the collaboration in a concert conversation at 3 pm.

The Voyage

Sunday, October 16, 2016 at 4 pm
Concert Conversation with Nick Nash and quilter Kay McCarthy at 3 pm
Central Lutheran Church, Minneapolis
Tickets start at $20 and are available online or at 612-371-5656