A Solitary Wish - Homeless Fund

$9,696 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 120 people in 31 months
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To hear the piece and view the score, visit http://www.brianbalmages.com/a-solitary-wish

My name is Brian Balmages - I am a composer. This campaign is to support the homeless this holiday season. For your donation, you will receive score and parts to "A Solitary Wish" for string orchestra and piano (completed October 17, 2016). The program notes below best describe the entire campaign. 100% of the amount collected with go to charities benefiting the homeless.

I learned am amazing lesson before I began this piece. While I consider myself to be a “good” person, I read a friend’s comment about seeing a homeless woman named Joyce outside of Target. Joyce needed a new pair of shoes because it was getting cold outside and she only had sandals. My friend decided to get her the shoes, but also decided to buy her lunch and some extra food. Simple comments like “How will you heat up canned soup?” “Usually the microwave at 7-Eleven works.” “Why don’t you get the big peanut butter?” “Because it is too heavy to carry around.” And then she remarked how every single person around them averted their eyes as they walked by. It gave her a tremendous amount of perspective and a desire to be much more empathetic in the future. I thought the same thing.

Fast-forward just a few hours. I was outside a food store with my kids and there was a man outside asking for some food. I watched quite a few people walk by. Some actually said “sorry” as they walked by, but most of them did not even look at him or acknowledge him when he spoke to them. Finally, with my new “perspective” in hand, I walked up to him and asked him if he was okay. He just needed something to drink and a little bit of food. I took him into the store with me and bought him something. His name is Bruce. He is 32 years old. He has three kids – 2 in elementary school and 1 in middle school. He acknowledged that he’s made plenty of mistakes in life, but that he is trying really hard to get back up on his feet and live in the area so he can be close to his kids. We chatted for a bit, then I had to run and get my youngest to a soccer game. As we were leaving, he held the door open for us and said thanks. “It’s hard when people ignore you all day long. Thanks for stopping.” With the holiday season approaching, this struck me hard. So many of us are already making our “lists.” Others are bugging us for them so they can start their shopping early. We are annoyed because we have to go to several houses on Thanksgiving Day, or open gifts at several houses (or travel) during the holiday season. And then some perspective – someone like Joyce or Bruce – they wish for food, water, and for someone to notice them.

There are many holiday pieces out there about everything you can imagine. This one begins with a single individual (a cello soloist) just asking to be noticed while everyone walks by – some dropping a few coins or a dollar but avoiding conversation at all cost. As the music develops, we experience a wide range of emotions as the joy of the holidays is juxtaposed with solitude. Ultimately, in this particular story, the individual is joined by another, and eventually there are four of them together (the quartet). As a couple people begin to leave, one stays behind (a violin soloist) and the person’s wish comes true.

Please share this story. It is my hope that this piece will spread awareness and help individuals all over the world. Donate your time, donate a small amount, or just smile and say hello. You just may make someone’s wish come true.
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"A Solitary Wish" Video update! Hi all - I have created the following video (see link below) for you to share with your students or even your audience prior to your performance. We are approaching the $8,000 mark and when you account for the money that has been raised by schools for their own local homeless funds, we are well over the $10,000 mark!! I'm hearing from people all over the country who are making more of an effort to interact with the homeless, teachers who are having engaging conversations with students, multimedia projects and more. Such a blessing to be involved with all of your kindness! https://youtu.be/IA2BYiBRPcs
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I'm excited to announce that "A Solitary Wish" is now available on SmartMusic! I would also like to thank everyone for helping us hit the $7,500 mark, so I have updated the campaign to an $8,000 goal. Know that this money alone is impacting thousands of people (you read that correctly) this holiday season. On top of that, I am continuing to hear from schools all over the country who are starting their own fundraisers for the homeless. Folks, we are all making a difference. Let's keep paying it forward!
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Thank you all again for your amazing support! SmartMusic has just released a new blog post about it and interviewed me to discuss the background of the piece. Feel free to read more here.

https://www.smartmusic.com/blog/help-brian-balmages-support-homeless/
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An amazing update! I have just posted a BEAUTIFUL recording of "A Solitary Wish," performed by the James Madison University Symphony Orchestra; Foster Beyers, conductor. You can find it at http://www.brianbalmages.com/a-solitary-wish. They have completely captured the point of the piece, so please enjoy! In addition, we have now shattered the $6,000 mark and are well on our way to $7,000! Thank you ALL for your generous donations thus far. It means more than you can imagine.
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Read a Previous Update
Tabitha Rasmussen
30 months ago
2
2

How do we access the piece?

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AnneMarie Karnbach
31 months ago
1
1

I would love to start programming for this piece. When should we expect delivery? So excited!!!

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Kelly J Kiki
17 months ago

Brian, I am Kelly Kiki. I have been a volunteer and Public Relations for Blessings Under the Bridge here in Spokane for the past 9 years. In addition, I am a teacher at an inner city school known as North Central High School. Much of the work that I find myself doing is with Spokane's homeless and less-fortunate. Furthermore, being that I spent 14 years teaching at Central Valley High School, I found myself last night at the Fox Theatre listening to your composition, Solitary Wish, performed by my friend and conductor, Eric Parker, and the Central Valley High School Band. To hear that this work was written to help the homeless, it touched my heart. Then to hear it . . . I was moved. Thank you! Thank you! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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Katie Nesemann
20 months ago

I would love to by able to do this piece with my group. Is it possible to still donate and receive the piece?

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Beth Bichler
29 months ago

Brian, My students performed this last night, and we were able to collect money for our local homeless shelter. We will be sending them a check, and at their request (with your permission) a video they will make with the story. Looking forward to when we can do our Skype session.

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Chue Yeng Vue
29 months ago

Thank you so much for the video, Brian. And thank you so much for the Skype session last Friday! My kids enjoyed it very much! C. Vue Westview Middle School

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Chue Yeng Vue
31 months ago

Brian, you read my mind! We were so inspired by your cause that our orchestra decided to hold a Toy and Blanket drive and present our donations at our concert in December, where we will also perform A Solitary Wish :) Thank you so much!

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Karen T Madden
31 months ago

Brian, we read this down in rehearsal today, and it's utterly gorgeous! My orchestra is deeply touched to be a part of your art helping those in need!

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$9,696 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 120 people in 31 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
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Created October 17, 2016
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$40
Anonymous
24 months ago
$11
Neil Neuwirth
27 months ago
JK
$100
Jason Kneebone
29 months ago

Nice seeing you again at Midwest! Thanks for doing this.

RB
$40
Randy Bennet
29 months ago
DT
$500
Dawson Taylor
29 months ago
MF
$100
Mark Franks
29 months ago
AA
$200
Apartment Association
29 months ago
$700
Anonymous
29 months ago
HM
$60
Henry Miller
29 months ago

Thanks Brian!

LW
$40
Linda Walker
29 months ago
Tabitha Rasmussen
30 months ago
2
2

How do we access the piece?

+ Read More
AnneMarie Karnbach
31 months ago
1
1

I would love to start programming for this piece. When should we expect delivery? So excited!!!

+ Read More
Kelly J Kiki
17 months ago

Brian, I am Kelly Kiki. I have been a volunteer and Public Relations for Blessings Under the Bridge here in Spokane for the past 9 years. In addition, I am a teacher at an inner city school known as North Central High School. Much of the work that I find myself doing is with Spokane's homeless and less-fortunate. Furthermore, being that I spent 14 years teaching at Central Valley High School, I found myself last night at the Fox Theatre listening to your composition, Solitary Wish, performed by my friend and conductor, Eric Parker, and the Central Valley High School Band. To hear that this work was written to help the homeless, it touched my heart. Then to hear it . . . I was moved. Thank you! Thank you! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

+ Read More
Katie Nesemann
20 months ago

I would love to by able to do this piece with my group. Is it possible to still donate and receive the piece?

+ Read More
Beth Bichler
29 months ago

Brian, My students performed this last night, and we were able to collect money for our local homeless shelter. We will be sending them a check, and at their request (with your permission) a video they will make with the story. Looking forward to when we can do our Skype session.

+ Read More
Chue Yeng Vue
29 months ago

Thank you so much for the video, Brian. And thank you so much for the Skype session last Friday! My kids enjoyed it very much! C. Vue Westview Middle School

+ Read More
Chue Yeng Vue
31 months ago

Brian, you read my mind! We were so inspired by your cause that our orchestra decided to hold a Toy and Blanket drive and present our donations at our concert in December, where we will also perform A Solitary Wish :) Thank you so much!

+ Read More
Karen T Madden
31 months ago

Brian, we read this down in rehearsal today, and it's utterly gorgeous! My orchestra is deeply touched to be a part of your art helping those in need!

+ Read More
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