Before she was a sex trafficking victim, Donna Dozier loved to sing. Now that she’s come out on the other side of prostitution and addiction, the Nashville woman is using her voice once again.
On Tuesday night, Dozier will narrate the world premiere of a cantata based on the women of Thistle Farms, the Nashville-based recovery program that helped her find stable ground. The music was commissioned by Abingdon House publishers as a companion piece to a book by Thistle Farms graduates, called Find Your Way Home.
In a way, the performance is an extension of what happens every morning at Thistle Farms. Each day, the women gather in circles to talk and listen, to share stories and tears. They write poetry as a way to work through their feelings. For some, like Dozier, standing up to read that poetry can be a powerful tool for moving forward.
“Words have healing in them. Words have a lot of meaning and expression and soul to me,” Dozier says, speaking not just about her own writings, but what the other women have to share. “I could sit in each story that a person wrote and picture them all the way down to how they looked, how they felt. I could share their pain and their joy— all at the same time—because I had been there, too.”
Dozier says she’s proud and grateful for a chance to stand on stage and be the voice for all of their stories.
A Magdalene Cantata by Anthony Plog will be performed by the Nashville Philharmonic, along with the Tennessee State University Meistersingers and soloists Abby Burke and Kristine Stroupe on February 23 and March 1. You can find complete information about the shows on our Arts Calendar.