The charity concert is hosted by Mark Cook and Nate Golden. The musicians include Tyler Blanchard, Christopher Ertelt, Steve Gudelunas, Maura Johnston, and Rob Tucker.
And the singers and performers include: Demetria Joyce Bailey, Meredith Beck, Clyde Brooks (spoken word), Sarah Lynn Dewey, Mike Dorsey, Sarah J. Gafgen, Aileen Goldberg, Donnie Hammond, Tim Johnson, Mike Kammerer, Josh Keiter, Topher Layton, Mark Marano, Connor McAndrews, Josh Millhouse, David Nikolas, Craig O’Brien, Katherine Perry, Christine Petrini, Megan Pisors, The Plaids, Samantha Reisenberg, Frank Schierloh, Carl Nathaniel Smith, Madalyn St. John, Jamie Beth Weist, Janet Wilkie, and Shaun Yates.
We asked the participants to whom they were dedicating their performances. Two singers dedicated their songs to five-year-old Omran Daqneesh, the little boy from Aleppo in Syria.
I’ll sing “I Got Love” from Purlie. This song speaks of the love between Lutiebelle and Purlie. The lyric is stating how someone feels when they are in love and when they know they are loved. We need more people to know and understand how important they are and that no matter what they are going through. THEY ARE ALL LOVED! God is Love.
When I first heard about the concert, I felt like someone needed to perform a selection from West Side Story. The show that tells a story of how judging people based solely on their heritage ends in sorrow for so many. What better inspirational song could there be than “Somewhere?” – “somewhere we’ll find a new way of living. We’ll find a way of forgiving.” I believe that people are, at our cores, good, and if we work together we can find more common ground and live together in greater understanding.
Much violence and hate is inspired by feelings of insecurity within us. Carole King, with her song “Beautiful,” reminds us through the lyrics that if we wake up with love for ourselves it will shine out and make a positive impact on everyone you meet and everything you do: “You’ve got to get up every morning with a smile in your face, and show the world all the love in your heart.”
Love! We can spread love and light in a world full of darkness. We can make others think about the world differently. The one line that always sticks with me from my song is “Gone. Love is never gone. As we travel on, love’s what we’ll remember.” Be the light in the darkness. Even a small act of kindness or a silly performance can impact a stranger more than you know.
We chose to sing a medley of “Get Happy” and “Happy Days are Here Again.” Our favorite performance of this mashup is by Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand, sung by the duo on The Judy Garland Show in 1963. The simple message of both of these songs resonates with us because even in the darkest of times, there is the promise of happy times ahead. Although we take the time to mourn the loss of members of our community, we choose to look toward a brighter future: “happy times, happy nights, happy days are here again.”
I’ll be singing, “Don’t Be Shy.” In the introduction to his song, Yusuf Islam [the former Cat Stevens] said, “One of the things about the journey of life is when you look back and see the pages of the past in a new light. And I think this next song says to me that unless good people stand up to be heard, then fear and cruelty will always dominate the world. So, it’s time for those people to stand up and lift their heads. This is a song I think that talks about that.”
I’ll sing, “I Am What I Am.” The title of the song describes it pretty well. It’s all about being yourself, enjoying things about yourself, and whether people accept you or not, it doesn’t matter. It’s about having the right for you to be you, owning the God given right to love yourself despite the opinions that others may have of you. “So what if I love each feather and each spangle. Why not try and see things from a different angle?”
My heart still aches for the victims and their families.”
The most important line in “Never, Ever Getting Rid Of Me” is, “I’m gonna do this right.” Love should always come from a place of the purest, simplest intention, and I think Sara Bareilles totally crystallized that notion in this song. Beneath the goofy, quirky exterior, the character of Ogie is ready to grow up and give his love to Dawn the best way he knows.
I’ll be singing with a group, performing “With A Little Help From My Friends.” This song, for me, really underscores how none of us are alone as long as we have folks to reach out to and who can support us when we’re confused, or hurting, or just need a friendly ear. And getting to sing it with a group of fellow performers demonstrates that reality in a really positive way!
Love, however, has potential to conquer and eradicate hate.”
Our group, The Plaids, are singing “Love Is A Many Splendored Thing,” which speaks of love originating from a lover’s kiss, but the lyrics as a whole refer to all love—romantic, platonic, familial, etc.—as an incredible force. Legislation cannot stop violence, only create consequences. Love, however, has potential to conquer and eradicate hate if we individuals truly commit to loving the differences that make us great. It’s Quixote’s quest of course, but “Love is nature’s way of giving a reason to be living,” and by not pursuing this “impossible” dream, we miss one of life’s greatest fulfillments—the blessings of each other.
people all around us that are suffering and hurting.”
“What You Need” by John Bucchino is a reminder that if we just look—truly look—we’ll see people all around us that are suffering and hurting. Once we’ve seen their pain, we have an obligation to step outside of ourselves to work toward soothing that pain. We can’t always prevent violence. But rather than just posting a Facebook status that involves “thoughts”, “prayers”, “love” and “like” (which may all be important), it urges us to do something to help its victims. Bucchino’s words “Take my hand … I’ll try to give you what you need” are a gentle call to action.