Refugee Voices is a concert project of newly commissioned vocal, choral and orchestral music, which tell the stories of refugees through song.
This project will commission 8-10 prominent composers to make new song settings with refugee stories as the content for these settings, i.e. oral history, written text or refugee poetry. These songs will present stories from conflict areas around the world and through time. Commissions will yield works for solo or duo voice and piano, chamber pieces with voice, and larger choral settings with orchestra.
The commissioned Refugee Voices works will be premiered in a highly visible concert performance featuring leading performers and personalities from the classical and musical theatre industries in order to raise visibility and funding for the ongoing refugee crisis. 100% of proceeds from this concert will go directly to refugee support programs. This concert will have a gala performance feel and incorporate projected photography and documentary film clips, brief appearances and testimony from resettled refugees and highly visible spokespeople from major refugee support organizations. Audience members will leave inspired to action with clearly communicated steps that they can take to help refugees in their communities and worldwide.
• Proposed Concert Date - World Refugee Day - June 20, 2017 or 2018
• Proposed Concert Venue - David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center, NY, NY
• Proposed Partnership with Annenberg Photo Space REFUGEE Exhibit to license use of photo images and documentary excerpts in the concert.
• Proposed Partnership with UNHCR Highly Visible Spokespeople for special guest appearances and to share the UNHCR messaging and platform.
• Proposed Performance for the General Assembly at the UN - Similar to the concert for the installation of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon with Ennio Morricone (February 2007).
• Partnership with USA for UNHCR for content and logistical development, marketing supporting and fundraiser beneficiary.
• To amplify the stories of refugees through music and song, so that these human stories may be heard.
• To raise awareness for the expanding humanitarian refugee crises worldwide.
• To inspire others to action.
• To raise funding and support for refugee resettlement services
Rationale & Background
According to the UNHCR:
• 65.3 million people around the world have been forced from home.
• Nearly 21.3 million of those are refugees
* Over half are under the age of 18.
• 10 million stateless people have been denied a nationality & access to basic rights of:
* Freedom of movement
• Nearly 34,000 people are forcibly displaced every day as a result of conflict or persecution.
The refugee crisis is a global humanitarian crisis, which requires a global response. Inspired by Melissa Fleming’s inspiring TED Talk, “How Do You Make the International Community Care about the Refugee Crisis?” it became clear that connecting others to these human stories is the key to invoking action and compassionate support. As a singer and classical musician, this project was born out of my desire to apply my time and talents to making a difference.
Refugee Voices exists in order to amplify the stories of refugees through music and song.
Music has the power to connect the hearts and minds of people and move them to action. It is my hope that this project will accomplish this goal and effect meaningful change around the refugee crisis in our world.
Commercial Recording & Published Music Edition:
Following the premiere of these new works, a commercial recording and musical publication of the Refugee Voices songbook will be made and all proceeds will continue to be offered for refugee support services.
Through a subsequent recording and score publication this project not only creates an ongoing source of financial support for refugee resettlement, but also a body of socially relevant new song compositions akin to the AIDS Quilt Songbook and contributes to the body of classical vocal music repertoire.
Funding sources are currently being sought through governmental and private granting institutions and private donors for concert production costs and commissions. Any residual funding will be directed to refugee support organizations in support of the mission of this project.
For more information contact:
Jennifer Sgroe - Jennifer@jennifersgroe.com - 859.420.3136