Concert Program

Put Your Guns Down

September 18, 2022 7:00 PM

A Note from the Artistic Director

Tonality is a choir that was formed to envision a new environment where diverse singers could come together to create community and sing for justice.

Our first concert on social justice issues was this one, "Put Your Guns Down", that occurred just six days after the Las Vegas mass shooting on October 1, 2017. We have performed this concert five times before this evening, and each one has occurred within months - or days - from another mass shooting.

We hope that we will be able to retire this music and present concerts on other topics, but we feel we have a duty to members of our community to continue to shed light on these topics to encourage activism and to aid in the healing process. On this note, we understand that these issues may be difficult to listen to, so please feel free to step out at any point during the concert as needed.

We sincerely hope that you hear these messages in a new way, that you find a closer connection to others who have been directly affected by these stories, and that you discover new ways to become involved in creating a new reality where our loved ones no longer have to continue to watch inaction turn into mourning.

Thank you for joining us.

— Alexander Lloyd Blake

Founder and director, Tonality

Alexander Lloyd Blake
Executive/ Founding Artistic Director

Concert Program


Music by:
Anthony J. Maglione
Text by:
Arlin Buyert

No more! Can you hear? Can you hear shots that killed his brother? No more!

Make Peace

Music by:
David Lang
Text by:
David Lang

If you can make peace, make peace:

in the heavens, in us, in all the world.

Make peace.

Why Do We Love our Guns

Music by:
Karen Siegel
Text by:
Karen Siegel

Why do we love our guns

more than our neighbors?

When David Heard

Music by:
Norman Dinerstein
Text by:
From the Bible, II Samuel 18:33

When David heard that Absalom was slain, he

went up to his chamber over the gate and

wept. And thus, he said: “Oh my son

Absalom, my son, my son, Absalom! Would

God I had died for thee, oh Absalom, my son,

my son.”

Seven Last Words of the Unarmed

Music by:
Joel Thompson
Text by:

II. Trayvon Martin:

What are you following me for?

III. Amadou Diallo:

Mom, I’m going to college.

V. Oscar Grant:

You shot me!

Soloist: Darrell Morris Jr.

A Lullaby

Music by:
Ryan Murphy
Text by:
Eugene Field

The stars are twinkling in the skies;

the earth is lost in slumbers deep.

So hush, my sweet, and close thine eyes,

and let me lull thy soul to sleep.

Compose thy dimpled hands to rest,

and like a little birdling lie secure within thy

cozy nest upon my loving mother breast,

and slumber to my lullaby.

So hushaby, hushaby,

hush my sweet and close thine eyes,

and slumber to my lullaby,

so hushaby, hushaby.

The moon is singing to a star

the little song I sing to you.

The father sun has strayed afar

as baby’s sire is straying too.

And so the loving mother moon

sings to the little star on high;

and as she sings, her gentle tune is borne to me,

and thus I croon for thee, my sweet, that

lullaby of hushaby, hushaby,

hush my sweet and close thine eyes,

and slumber to my lullaby,

so hushaby, hushaby.

There is a little one asleep

that does not hear his mother’s song;

but angel watchers as I weep

surround his grave the night-tide long.

And as I sing, my sweet, to you,

oh, would the lullaby I sing,

the same sweet lullaby he knew

while slumbering on this bosom too,

were borne to him on angel’s wing!

So hushaby, hushaby,

lullaby, lullaby, hushaby, hushaby,


Please Stay

Music by:
Jake Runestad
Text by:
Adapted from tweets using #IKeptLiving – expressions of hope from those who battle depression and chose to live.

No! Don’t go!

Don’t let your worst day be your last.

The storm is strong, but it will pass.

You think you can’t go on another day,

but please stay. Just stay.

Hope is real. Help is real.

You are breath, you are life,

you are beauty, you are light.

Your story is not over.

You are not a burden to anyone.

Please stay. Just stay.

Becca Tomasko, soloist

This Love Between Us, I: "Buddhism"

Music by:
Reena Esmail
Text by:
Text from the Dhammapada Chapter10 (Dandavagga) Verses129-132

All beings tremble before violence

sǝbbĕ tāntǝsī dǝndāsǝ

All fear death

sǝbbĕ bhǝyyǝntĭ mǝchūnō

All love life

sǝbbĕ sǝm jĭvītǝm pĭyǝm

See yourself in others.

Then whom can you hurt?

What harm can you do?

For he who seeks happiness (su-khǝ)

By hurting those who seek happiness

Will never find happiness

For your brother and your sister, they are like you

They, too, long to be happy

Never harm them.

dǝndēnā nǝ hĭmsǝtī

And when you leave this life

Then you will find happiness too

Earth Song

Music by:
Frank Ticheli
Text by:
Frank Ticheli

Sing, Be, Live, See.

This dark stormy hour,

The wind, it stirs.

The scorched earth

Cries out in vain:

O war and power,

You blind and blur,

The torn heart

Cries out in pain.

But music and singing

Have been my refuge,

And music and singing

Shall be my light.

A light of song

Shining Strong: Alleluia!

Through darkness, pain, and strife, I'll

Sing, Be, Live, See...


Eye for Eye

Music by:
Shawn Kirchner
Text by:
Shawn Kirchner, with debt to Ghandhi & Jesus

Eye for eye and the world goes blind,

And how deep that darkness, and the light

nowhere to find.

Life for life and the killing goes on,

And how deep that darkness,

like a night without a dawn.

Hate feeds hate in a bitter feast,

And how deep that darkness,

turns human-kind into a hungry beast.

Give us light, give us light that we may see.

This Love Between Us, VI: “Jainism”

Music by:
Reena Esmail
Text by:
From Acharanga Sutra (Part 3: Lecture 15) Tr. Hermann Jacobi

If the mind is sinful,


intent on works,

acting on impulses,

producing cutting and splitting,

quarrels, faults and pains,

if it injures living beings,

if it kills creatures,

then one should not employ such a mind in action.

tǝhǝpǝgārǝm mǝnǝm nō pǝdhārĭjjā gǝmǝnāĕ.

If the speech is sinful,


intent on works,

acting on impulses,

producing cutting and splitting,

quarrels, faults and pains,

if it injures living beings,

if it kills creatures,

then one should not utter that sinful speech.

tǝhǝpǝgārǝm vāĭm nō ŭccārĭjjā.

jĕ yĕ mǝnĕ pāvǝĕ










tǝhǝpǝgārǝm mǝnǝm nō pǝdhārĭjjā gǝmǝnāĕ



  • Hannah Abrahim
  • Cassandra Duschene
  • Kelci Hahn
  • Addy Sterrett
  • Becca Tomasko


  • Kim Dawson
  • Katelyn Dietz
  • Natalie Gonzalez
  • Gracie Laboy
  • Hannah Lewis
  • Valerie Tambaoan


  • Sam Avila
  • Jonathan Byram
  • Isaiah Chacon
  • David Morales
  • Darrell Morris, Jr.
  • Rohan Ramanan


  • Brandon Guzman
  • Matthew Lewis
  • Ian Gabriel Luna
  • Jamal Moore
  • Anthony Moreno


  • Cole Perez, violin 1
  • Sara Jones, violin 2
  • Sarah Tatman, viola
  • Benton Preciado, cello
  • Hakeem Holloway, bass
  • Robin Sukhadia, tabla
  • Kristen Simpson, piano

Deaf Performers

  • Mikey Agyin
  • LaMehammad
  • RiRi Richardson


  • Ashley Rodriguez
  • Gema Niebla

Special Thanks

Company Manager

  • Hasan Crawford

Tonality Board of Directors

  • Dr. Alexander Lloyd Blake, Executive Director
  • Dr. David Connors, Board Chair
  • Dr. Tram Sparks, Vice Chair
  • Joe Trapanese, Secretary
  • Dr. Kimberly Bradshaw, Treasurer
  • Patrick Achis
  • Stacy Brightman
  • Jacob Broussard
  • Shawn Kirchner
  • Stuart Marks
  • Caroline McKenzie
  • Jordan Reddout

Honorary Board Members

  • Michael Abels
  • Kris Bowers
  • Lara Downes
  • Dr. Melissa Dunphy
  • Brian Lauritzen
  • Kevin “K.O.” Olusola

Advisory Board Members

  • Dr. Derrell Acon
  • Melissa Denton
  • Kristy Edmunds
  • Ted Hearne
  • Luke McEndarfer
  • Jen Belladin Rogers
  • Sara Scott
  • Leslie Thomas
  • Booker White

We sincerely thank:

  • Dr. David Connors, Dr. Tram Sparks, and the Tonality Board of Directors
  • Kristen Simpson
  • Daniel Hurlin
  • Miriam Adhanom
  • Daniel Leese
  • Steven Lepe
  • Nikole Luebbe
  • Hollywood Scoring Stage
  • Black Lives Matter LA
  • San Fernando Valley Brady Campaign

We are gathered today on the unceded land of the Tongva peoples. We ask you to join us in acknowledging the Tongva community, their elders both past and present, as well as future generations. This land has nourished, healed, protected and embraced the Tongva peoples for many generations in a relationship of balance and harmony. As members of the Tonality community we acknowledge this legacy. We promote this balance and harmony. We find inspiration from this land; the land of the Tongva. This acknowledgement demonstrates Tonality’s commitment to the process of dismantling the ongoing legacies of settler colonialism and honoring our Nation’s Indigenous Peoples.


2022-2023 Supporters of Tonality

  • Dwight Stuart Youth Fund
  • Californa Arts Council
  • California Community Foundation, LA Recovery Fund
  • County of Arts and Culture OGP Grant
  • Tejemos Foundation
  • Ross Endowment Fund of the Jewish Foundation of Los Angeles

Tonality Sustainers ($2500 & above)

  • Michael Abels
  • Alexander Lloyd Blake
  • David Connors
  • John McGuire
  • Peter Rutenberg
  • Joe Trapanese

Tonality Sponsors ($1000-$2499)

  • Susan Baer
  • Kristopher Bowers
  • Frances Collmann
  • Kenneth Foster
  • Robin Janis
  • Jarrett Johnson
  • Shawn Kirchner
  • Stuart Marks
  • Kevin Olusola  
  • Jen Rogers
  • Peter Rutenberg
  • Mark Saltzman
  • Sara Scott
  • Tram Sparks
  • Leslie Thomas
  • Booker White
  • Jordan Willhoit
  • Greg Wooldridge

Tonality Contributors ($500-$999)

  • Derrell Acon
  • Stacy Brightman
  • Paula Laboy
  • Luke McEndarfer
  • Stefanie Moore
  • Martha Munford
  • Caroline Robinson
  • Jen Rodgers
  • Nick Strimple
  • Booker White

Tonality Supporters ($250 to $499)

  • Susan Baer
  • Ben Bram
  • Judson Crane
  • Melissa Denton
  • Melissa Dunphy
  • Diane Jordan
  • Carolyn Kelley
  • Lars Kjeseth
  • Brian Lauritzen
  • Brenda Reddout
  • Jake Runestad
  • Matt Sallee
  • Rochelle Sharpe
  • Leo Steinmetz

Tonality Supporters ($100 to $249)

  • Deborah Armstrong
  • Liza Beth
  • Simon & Hilary Carrington
  • Jim Covell
  • Glenda Delenstarr
  • Lisa Dent
  • Giacomo DiGrigoli
  • Margaret Ecker
  • Matthew Frieling
  • Roman GianArthur
  • Brian Gorelick
  • Saroosh Gull
  • Saundra Hall-Hill
  • Amanda Hanzlik
  • Craig Johnson
  • Audrey Lamprey
  • Patricia Leslie
  • William Malone
  • Guy Marda
  • Cynthia Marty
  • Jason Morales
  • Enrique Neblett
  • Adam Noel
  • Kikanza Nuri-Robins
  • Jonathan Penzner
  • Joshua Sheetz
  • Moira Smiley
  • Kevin Smith
  • Jonathan Talberg
  • Stephen Trask

Tonality Supporters ($50 to $99)

  • Michael Anderson
  • Nathaniel Bradford
  • Denise Carite
  • Charlean Carmon
  • Patti Crane
  • Kristopher Fitzgerald
  • Bob Homami
  • Karen Hsu Patterson
  • Mykal Kilgore
  • Luke Klipp
  • Keri Larson
  • Didier Lean Rachou
  • Ronald McCurdy
  • Ann McNair
  • Howard Reisner
  • Jeanine Robertson
  • Melanie Ronning
  • E. Corona Santos
  • Jo-Michael Scheibe
  • Aretha Scruggs
  • Fletcher Sheridan
  • Moira Smiley
  • Jacob Stensberg
  • Sally Stevens
  • Amelia Thompson
  • Heather Walters
  • Julian Waterman
  • Anne Watson Born
  • Will Wheaton

Tonality Friends (Up to $49)

  • Scott AuCoin
  • Steffany Ayala
  • Teresa Book
  • Timothy Campbell
  • Alyssa Curiel
  • Heather Drinkwater
  • Chris Franklin
  • Molly Getsinger
  • Anthony Gulla
  • Lanha Hong
  • Evan Johnson
  • Daniel Jordan
  • Colleen Keene
  • Daniel Korneychuk
  • Margaurite Mathis-Clark
  • David Morales
  • John O'Neill
  • Jacquelyn O'Sullivan
  • Jessica Penzner
  • Hannah Penzner
  • Lauren Prestifilippo
  • Sophie Richman
  • Michael Rowan
  • Margaret Russett
  • Michelle Sorgen
  • Mollie Stone
  • Stacey Sydnor
  • Andre Thomas
  • Jake Tickner
  • David Topping
  • Maura Tuffy
  • Zach Ward

Support Affiliated Non-Profits

BLMLA | Black Lives Matter Los Angeles

#BlackLivesMatter-Los Angeles is the original chapter of the global movement built to challenge state-sanctioned violence against Black people and to vision and build a just and free society.

Brady Campaign

Brady is uniting Americans against gun violence. We invite everyone who wants to end our epidemic of gun violence to take action, not sides.

Support Tonality Today.

Contributions made to our organization are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Here are three ways you can contribute:

  1. Donate in person. If you wish to make a donation during or after our concert, please see one of our volunteers or board members.
  2. Donate online using the button below.
  3. Donate by mail. Please send contributions to:
    325 N Larchmont, Suite 306
    Los Angeles, CA 90004
    * Checks should be made payable to Tonality

We truly appreciate your support and generosity. Should you have any questions regarding how you can contribute, please feel free to reach us at or (910) 358-7130.

Kindly help us to spread the word to others who care about valuing social justice in our society.

Support Us

Upcoming Events

No items found.