Street requiem Seattle benefits King County homeless

Thursday, April 28th, 2016. Filed under: Entertainment Happenings Services

Over 150 local artists form mass chorus for fundraiser benefiting non-profit organizations working to end homelessness

street-requiem-seattle-benefit-concert-38SEATTLE – “Street Requiem Seattle,” a spectacular choral work featuring 150 singers from 39 Seattlearea choruses and an ensemble of 14 local musicians, will be performed at Benaroya Hall on Sunday, May 1, at 7 PM. Ninety percent of the purchase price of each ticket will benefit local non-profit organizations directly helping the homeless in King County.

The repertoire is based on the internationally-acclaimed composition by Dr. Jonathan Welch AM, the award-winning conductor of the Choir of Hard Knocks and founding artistic director of the School of Hard Knocks. Dr. Kathleen McGuire, creator of Singers of the Street, and Andy Payne, director of curriculum for the School of Hard Knocks, collaborated on the composition.

The event is sponsored by The Starbucks Chorus as part of Starbucks Global Month of Service. The optimistic yet deeply moving and reflective work is a reinvention of the traditional requiem, with a contemporary twist that features a modern setting of the Latin text, enhanced with English, African and Persian lyrics. It is a reflection of the multicultural and multi-faith traditions of urban society, with gospel, romantic, indigenous, Celtic and contemporary instrumentation.

Tickets are available online at Requiem; in person at Benaroya Hall, 200 University Street; and by phone at 206.215.4747.

A semifinalist at the American Prize National Non-Profit Competition, “Street Requiem” is a multimovement cantata scored for choirs, soloists, and chamber orchestras. The work is neither secular nor religious but intended to be spiritual, with the purpose of bringing a sense of peace, remembrance, awareness, action and hope to communities and individuals working to end homelessness, poverty, hate crime, violence and a loss of safety on our streets.

Since its world premiere in 2014 in Melbourne, Australia, Street Requiem has played in Brisbane; Sydney; Dallas, Texas; and San Francisco, Calif., and inspired loyal followers across the world. Street Requiem Highlights Michael “The Wanz” Wansley will perform a cover of “Still I Rise,” originally sung by Tupac Shakur and Outlawz. The Wanz received the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Rap Vocal Performance with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis for the multi-platinum song “Thrift Shop.”

Local singers who currently face homelessness will perform solo numbers, including Leonard King and Gabriella Duncan in Michael Jackson’s “Heal the World.” Colleen Echohawk-Hayashi, executive director of Chief Seattle Club will open the concert, speaking on behalf of her Native relatives and Chief Seattle Club members who are experiencing homelessness.

Acknowledgment and Dedication will be presented by the Homeless Remembrance Project from the Women’s Housing Equity and Enhancement League, a nonprofit and nonhierarchical group of homeless and formerly-homeless women, working to end homelessness for women. This will include a poetry reading from “The Sisterhood of Homeless Women in Poetry” by the Leaves of Remembrance project, which bears names of women and men who died homeless, so that every person will have a place to be remembered.

Rex Hohlbein, executive director of Facing Homelessness, will present faces of homelessness and suggest how we can take our own small, but meaningful steps to end homelessness with his “Just Say Hello” campaign. This will tie directly to the first stunning song of the evening: “Hello,” a takeoff of Grammy Award-winner Adele’s song of the same name, but from the perspective of a homeless person, rewritten by Starbucks partners Molly Hubbard and Marquele Nelson.

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