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Only the Message Mattered
a music and narrative presentation about the great

Susan B. Anthony


“Bob Warren delivers a poignant musical exploration into the life and spirit of Susan B. Anthony with Only the Message Mattered. Mr. Warren takes listeners on a journey that is as significant spiritually as it is socially. With its breathtaking harmonies and hauntingly beautiful melodies, the music is seamlessly interwoven with historical dialogue that leaves audiences of all ages and genders informed and enlightened.”

Katie Horn-Scarpulla, Program Director, Tri-County Arts Council, Cobleskill, NY

“As an Anthony relative, I am delighted that Bob Warren was inspired to compose Only the Message Mattered. He has chosen highlights of Susan's life and set them to hauntingly beautiful musical themes. His choices of young women to voice the words and the cello to enhance his accompaniment make this message hard to forget.”

Shirley Anthony Carman

“I've had the lyrics to A House on the River up on my bulletin board near my computer ever since--because just rereading the lyrics every so often has given me an echo of the lovely melody and brought back to me the beauty and power of being present at the performance of Only the Message Mattered. The recited prose, the beautiful singing voices and the haunting instrumental music (the cello especially) all came together to convey so compellingly the life and work of Susan B. Anthony. I hope you are able to bring it to high school and college students as well as the general public.”

Sue Spivack, Storyteller, author

“I had the great pleasure of experiencing a performance of Bob Warren's Only the Message Mattered recently. As a direct descendant of Susan B. Anthony I was once again moved and impressed by the words and actions of this woman. This musical tribute gave me a fresh perspective on how her life was shaped by her times. I was thrilled that he was inspired to compose this work. Bob has not only honored Susan B. Anthony, but has created an absolutely gorgeous piece of music.”

Jill E. Anthony

“Only the Message Mattered uses Susan B Anthony's own words in narrative and song showing the strength of this feminist who fought so diligently for women's right to vote. The program describes the trial of Miss Anthony when she was charged with illegally voting in an election in 1872. Bob Warren has captured a piece of history and wove together his original songs and music creating a performance for all ages.”

Claudia Blackler Director, Greenwich Free Library

“Audiences were captivated by the premier performances of Only the Message Mattered. The music is compelling, the harmonies dissonant and haunting. Using Anthony’s own words, the narrative revealed the strength of spirit and undaunting heroism of the feminist who fought for women’s right to vote. The program is simple and gripping.”

Sharon Tefft Bozovsky, Main Street

“Only the Message Mattered is a powerful reminder of how much we owe the great Susan B. Anthony. When she was born in 1820, America's women were barred from all colleges and most professions. They couldn't vote, hold political office, or speak in public without fear of being disgraced. When they married, they became legally penniless. Any property, wages, and inheritances belonged to their husbands. If divorced, they had no rights to their own children. Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton formed a brilliant political partnership determined to right those wrongs. At their deaths half a century later, most of those rights had been won, thanks to their tireless leadership on behalf of all women.”

Anne Kamma, author of If You Lived When Women Won Their Rights (Scholastic)

This past September composer Bob Warren and his talented group of musicians presented the program, “Only the Message Mattered” to the members and friends of the Rupert, V.T. and Pawlett V.T. Historical Societies. This song/narrative gives historically accurate perspective to the life and leadership of Susan B. Anthony. It is both entertaining and educational, and particularly appropriate given the historical firsts of the recent presidential election.

Anne Lourie, program coordinator. January 2009

We were thrilled last year when the Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council and the New York State Council on the Arts accepted our grant request to have composer Bob Warren write the text and song cycle for “Only the Message Mattered”. The final project was to portray the story of Susan B. Anthony’s life here in Battenville, Washington County through Bob’s beautiful music. That the performance was on the Batten Kill just a few minutes from Susan’s home where she spent her childhood provided a moving experience for all those attending. Bob’s music truly created the effect we had hoped for when this dream was in the planning stages.

Debi Craig, grant proposal writer, educator

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