New choral piece to raise $ for gigging singers

48807368_1592091338701557_r.jpegAs we entered quarantine, I sat down to write something that wasn’t commissioned but, rather, a form of self-care for me during this unprecedented time. It’s a setting of the word “alleluia” which, for me, has always been a word that expresses gratitude; being thankful for friends and family and music and laughter (and also sadness). The work that came out has some slow, legato moments but also bright, rhythmic stuff. And it ends with a thunderous B-major chord.

In order to do something productive with my grief over all the things we’ve lost, I wondered how this composition could support those friends and colleagues of ours who make their money by putting together multiple part-time or one-off gigs and are struggling with their livelihood now.  They don’t feel “non-essential” to me, and never have. I’m sure you understand.

So, what I’d like to do is put together a consortium of choirs and give 100% of the result to a charity for gigging musicians called the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund which has funds specifically for our colleagues who have been affected by COVID-19; church section leaders, professional singers, accompanists, adjunct faculty, etc. can apply for to get a bit of financial help. They’ve set up a fund that offers relief specifically for professional musicians affected by the COVID-19 crisis. It covers medical bills, prescriptions, health insurance, utility bills, groceries, etc. and any donations made to premiere this piece will go directly to them. 

The piece I wrote ended up being scored for double choir but, because of the direction it took me, I was also able to adapt it into a pretty cool version for Mixed Choir and Piano so as many ensembles as possible can join in. The suggested donation is only $300 as that amount feels just little enough that it wouldn’t break anyone’s budgets too much.  Once an ensemble signs on, they get a PDF of both scores and two years of exclusivity to perform the piece; you wouldn’t have to program it this year.  I also put together a packet of programming and enrichment ideas that might help you talk with your singers about choral singing and its relationship to pandemics throughout history.

I hope you’ll consider donating!

Ongoing thanks,

  • Taylor Lelewski 
    • $30 
    • 7 mos
  • Lynn Spees 
    • $50 
    • 7 mos
  • Carl Nordstrom 
    • $100 
    • 7 mos
  • Paulette Church 
    • $25 
    • 7 mos
  • Donald Mott 
    • $10 
    • 7 mos
See all


Joshua Shank 
Spokane, WA
Sweet Relief Musicians Fund 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.
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