There are millions of ensemble singers in the world.
What would happen if they all came together in support of the same cause?
On March 10th when images from Japan literally and figuratively flooded the media, we saw entire towns disappear, homes break apart, and lives shatter. Wherever you were when you saw these reports, surely you stopped, looked and listened in total disbelief. The human toll of Japan’s earthquake and tsunami, the worst such natural disaster, is now etched on the faces of the survivors: their pain, their dignity, their patience, their hope. Each of us aches to help. We and our ensembles can.
The answer/solution/idea came from an unlikely source: a Facebook chat between Marian Dolan, Artistic Director of The Choir Project in Florida (USA) and Marjolein Stots, who lives in the Netherlands and sings with the professional vocal ensemble Wishful Singing. Commenting on a video posting by Stots, these two choral friends discussed whether there could be a way to use music and the Internet to bring together choral musicians from around the world to express support for the people of Japan. They contacted renowned Japanese composer and conductor Ko Matsushita, based in Tokyo, and asked if he might be willing to donate a score to the project. Matsushita accepted gladly, writing and emailing multiple scores even as electrical blackouts rolled across Tokyo. At the same time, Chicago-based web designer Sherri Lasko, of Lasko Design, went to work on a website. And Sing for Japan was born.
Unique in its international scope and potential impact, Sing for Japan aims to raise funds for recovery efforts in Japan, while providing an ****** for an international showing of support for the Japanese people. Visitors to the Sing for Japan website can make a donation, either as individuals or as a choral ensemble, to the relief organization of their choice. Donors can then register their donation, select a piece written by Ko Matsushita as a 'thank you' for their support, and also receive the Sing for Japan logos to use for their concerts and/or websites. They also have the opportunity to list the details of upcoming benefit concerts on the website's international news-and-concert page, post links on the Facebook page to YouTube videos or recordings of their ensemble, and share related project ideas with other choral colleagues. There is even an online Zazzle e-storefront for purchase of Sing for Japan merchandise, all proceeds of which will be donated for Japan relief.
There is also a surprising local focus to the Sing for Japan project. After contributing scores to the project, composer Ko Matsushita, conductor of 10 choirs in Japan, also formed the "Let's Sing, Japan!" team in Tokyo to organize choirs in Japan to participate in the greater Sing for Japan project. Matsushita's team includes representatives of various Japanese choirs as well as Mr. Sohei Miyoshi, Debuty Director-General of the Tokyo Choral Association. The resources on the main Sing for Japan website will soon have a Japanese-language page specifically for the "Let's Sing, Japan" participants.
Much like its parent organization, The Choir Project, Sing for Japan has at its core the mission “to build community chorally.” In utilizing the capability of the Internet to reach musicians from around the world, Sing for Japan provides the stage for the international choral community to unite their voices in shared songs of hope for the people of Japan during a devastating and uncertain time.
The online links for the Sing for Japan project are as follows:
Web: full URL: http://www.TheChoirProject.org/sing4japan
shortened URL: http://bit.ly/S4Jweb
Twitter: project hashtag #sing4japan
Questions? Please email - info@TheChoirProject.org