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3 weeks until my UNICEF benefit concert

Updated: Jun 7

header image for Echoes of Innocence June 23

In case you're wondering how I'm feeling about the coming performance I'm somewhere between:

 "How am I going to learn all this music?!" and "It's going to be fine!"

This is all new music for me with the exception of two pieces and in a way those two are harder because I'm going back to tweak technical and artistic choices that are already ingrained.  But it's coming along and in our rehearsal last week, Margaret and I got to really play with the musicality of these pieces. It's been such a fun reminder of how exciting this process can be.  What's available now?  How can I go further?  What happens when I do this?  Imagining and discovering ways we can go deeper into the music to bring YOU a more exciting and meaningful experience. 💖

If you've been waiting to buy your tickets or maybe even forgot, now would be a GREAT time!  In the next couple weeks, Jordan and I will be finalizing the video and recording set-up and knowing how many people intend to watch the video recording helps us make the best choices for that set-up.  The video access will be available a few weeks after the concert and you'll be able to watch the recording at the time and place of your choosing.  You can even invite friends!  And, hey, if your plans change and you want to change your ticket to in-person or to digital replay that's always an option, too.

Buying your ticket today gives me some extra love and support as I get into the final stretch and helps me figure out how much we can raise for UNICEF!

Some of you have asked, so I wanted to be clear that I'm creating and producing this benefit concert for UNICEF. I'm not doing this for or with anyone else (minus having some awesome collaborators!), this is me figuring out in real time how to do a benefit concert and make some beautiful music to share with the people I love. It's takes a lot of work to get here - personally, physically, financially - and I really appreciate your support through all of it!

I'm incredibly lucky that I'm able to do this!  It feels life-affirming to combine my passion for music with organizations that can make a bigger impact in the places that need it the most. Raising funds for UNICEF ignites a deep commitment to my art and to the world -  Together we get to make the world a little bit better, literally. The funds that go to UNICEF will be LIFE SAVING for so many children and families around the world. It is my honor to create a space where we can embrace our desires for all of these things: music, art, community, compassion, and action.

The more tickets that get sold, the more money that goes to UNICEF so please share far and wide and if you want to give more, you can always buy extra tickets or contact me for more donation options.

​​Now that the concert is finalized, I wanted to share a bit more about the music itself. Mahler's Kindertötenlieder is the anchor of this concert, but I want this to be a journey through the full experience of raising and caring for children: the joy, hope, despair, expectations, nostalgia, dreams, and our responsibilities as a society.  You don't have to be a parent to parent, to guide, to protect, or to love.  These are emotions and experiences that connect us deeply as humans and create the world we ultimately want to live in.  

I found two gorgeous pieces by Stacy Garrop that I immediately fell in love with. Garrop is a contemporary composer I first became exposed to while singing with Volti and I continue to be struck by the genuine beauty and ease of her music - one piece in particular really captures the unspoken beauty of life itself.  To me, these two pieces capture the power and ethos of music in so many ways.

I've also programmed two endearing pieces by Florence Price sharing the perspective of a woman and mother. She was the first African-American woman to be recognized as a symphonic composer, and the first to have a composition played by a major orchestra. Although she was well known during the early 20th century, much of her other compositions weren't discovered until 2009.  2024 marks the entrance of her woks into the public domain so I hope we get to hear more of her works in the years to come.

As I was rounding out the program, I wanted to paint a picture of the the joy and pains of growing up - "Laurie's Song" from Copland's The Tender Land immediately came to mind.  This was a regular anthem in my music degree programs, but, surprisingly, I've never sung it.  Copland does such an incredible job capturing both the excitement and reservation of a girl getting ready to step into adulthood.

You may not know this about me, but I grew up in Musical Theater doing multiple shows a year... but I wrote it off as soon as I got to college because I was an "Opera Singer!" [I have to laugh at myself and the artifice of conservatory education now!]  When I started programming this recital I realized, I get to do whatever I want!  I stumbled upon "Much More" from The Fantasticks and I thought it would be a perfect complement/counterpoint to Laurie - the big, bold, and brash hopes of youth to put a little fire in the belly.

There's plenty more, but I don't want to give it ALL away... you'll just have to join me June 23 or catch the digital replay for the whole experience. 🙌

A big thank you to everyone who's purchased tickets so far!  For those of you who fully intend to, but just haven't gotten around to it, I see you, I hear you, and here's another chance to do it while it's right in front of you. 

Big hugs, big love, and see you soon!

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