Kelly Hall-Tompkins writes:
I cannot believe it, but this month marks the 100th Music Kitchen concert! As I look back on nearly 14 seasons, I am so excited about all that we have accomplished together: An estimated 17,000 homeless shelter clients reached by some of the top artists in our field! 17,000 voices strong! Over the years, you've read the blue text at the end of my concert narratives with thoughts from the shelter clients about our concerts. Even as society at large sometimes marginalizes these voices, they have moved us in the Music Kitchen community tremendously. They have inspired us, they have taught us more about life and loss, about music, about ourselves, about joy, about compassion. We have listened. And now we are sharing these voices with you in a whole new, unprecedented way. I am so incredibly excited to announce our new special project: To celebrate the 100th concert this month and moving into the 15th season in March 2020, Music Kitchen is launching a Song Cycle Commissioning Project, entitled “Forgotten Voices,” to commission 15 of the top emerging and established composers of our time to set incidental comments from homeless shelter clients from past Music Kitchen concerts. Beginning in January with Jeff Scott (from the Imani Winds) “Für Meinen Vater” (For My Father) and continuing each month for 15 months, the project will include works by Jon Grier, James Lee, Tania Leon, Jessie Montgomery, Beata Moon, Paul Moravec, Kevin Puts, Steve Sandberg, and many more! The composers have each chosen one homeless shelter client comment which moves and inspires them most, and set it in song. Stay tuned for a new composer and a new premiere each month, first in shelter and, beginning in March 2020, for public performances of the Complete Composite Song Cycle "Forgotten Voices."
As you know, for reasons of privacy and safe haven, concerts in homeless shelters cannot be made available to the public. But as this is the most ambitious Music Kitchen project to date, and the only one of its kind, I will invite you each month to buy a virtual "ticket" of support of this endeavor. Again, it is not for actual attendance, but to support our 15-month long project at the grassroots level of $25. Larger gifts are also welcome.
Although you unfortunately cannot attend in person, I am very excited to share that the 100th concert will be featured by the NBC TODAY Show with Harry Smith! More on that to come!
You make this all possible and I am so very grateful for your support!
Photo credits: Gregory Routt, June Etta Photography, Richard Termine
Composer Highlight: Jeff Scott