Local Musician Forms “Peace Choir”

From local composer, musician and music teacher Mike O’Mara:

I have written an a cappella piece responding to the local tragedies of this past year, and thanks to the very sad but inspiring words and thoughts of the families of the Newtown, CT. shooting I have just about finished another choral work as a response to the events of last week.

I would like to assemble a local choir with the purposes of rehearsing, recording and releasing these two pieces digitally. The main purpose in doing so would be a.) to bring members, especially youth/teens of our local area communities together in a show of solidarity across economic/social/ethnic lines and in praise of peace and secondarily b.) to show our support for all victims and families affected by violence.

I would also like to invite all local teen composers who would like to help in this endeavor to also submit their own ideas/songs – I would love to work with them to help flesh out their material as well to have the choir sing.

Here is a schedule for beginning our rehearsal this winter/early spring:

  • Saturday, Jan. 26: 4-5:30 P.M.
  • Saturday, Feb. 2: 4-5:30 P.M.
  • Sunday, Feb. 10: 3-4:30 P.M.

After the above rehearsals, we should have our group set, and can plan further touch-up rehearsals as necessary from there.

Rehearsal location will depend on the interest level I receive from community members. I have space available for the rehearsals above at 2008 Dempster St. in Evanston, but I can find a larger facility if need be!

If you are interested in being a part of this process, please feel free to contact me at mrmikeomara[at]gmail.com.

You do NOT need to be a trained singer to take part; ‘karaoke’-style part files will be made available to those who need them for practice in-between rehearsals. Kids, teens, AND adults are all welcome – it can be a family affair if you want it to be!

Vocal parts for the pieces I’ve written are available here:

As long as credit is given for their authorship, I give complete and free reign to anyone to download and spread them around. Anyone who wishes to share them and information about these upcoming rehearsals is welcomed to do so; I only ask that interested parties who are anticipating showing up for rehearsal contact me via e-mail so that I know how many chairs and copies of music to have available!

Finally – if you are a composer/arranger – especially if you are a local young composer (teen/young adult) who would like to contribute your own work to our proceedings, I would love to hear from you and work with you to make that a reality! Let me know.

Thank you all again. I know that it is a little thing, and doesn’t ‘fix’ anything – but music is what I know, and if community music-making can help to ease some suffering, lift some hearts and open some minds… then it’s worth doing.

All my best,
– Mike, mrmikeomara[at]gmail.com

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