Concert Program

You Are Not Alone

May 21, 2022 7:00 PM

A Note from the Artistic Director

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

English and Spanish

800-273-8255

One morning in Asheville, NC, I was approached by a police officer while on my way to retrieve some things from my car. The officer stopped and questioned me, and he asked for my identification. After he dismissed me, I was left confused and embarrassed, and I struggled to figure out the reason why I was approached by the officer. I did not do anything wrong. It became obvious to me that it was because I am a man of color.

This type of incident occurs far too often in our society, and it has to stop. Based on that experience, I knew that I needed to do something. No more racism, no more exclusion, no more discrimination. I decided to do what I do best: make music. I decided to form a choir whose purpose is to increase awareness through music. After meeting every member of Tonality, I realized that I was not alone, that many others possess a passion for unity, for bringing people together.

Since its formation a short time ago, Tonality has received support from artists who also value diversity and social justice through their music. India Carney from U.S. Season 8 of The Voice says, “Tonality is going to broaden horizons for music and show a diverse array of faces for classical music as we know it.” Grant Gershon, Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Master Chorale, states, “Choral singing is about sharing our voices, our traditions, and our experiences. Tonality has the potential to bring the amazingly diverse voices, traditions, and experiences of Los Angelenos together in a powerful new way.”

Tonality, now an award-winning ensemble, has grown immensely since that first rehearsal on June, 6, 2016. The singers come from a variety of backgrounds, ethnicities and countries. They are professional singers from Los Angeles who care about the future of our country and our world, and we sing in unity to actively demonstrate the beauty of diversity.

We hope that this concert offers a safe space for those who are dealing with mental illness and friends and loved ones who support. While this concert speaks of challenges of mental health and suicide prevention, we also hope that this concert will serve as a reminder that each of you are loved, appreciated, and valued in our community. Thank you for coming and sharing your hearts with us.

Alexander Lloyd Blake
Executive/ Founding Artistic Director

Concert Program

Resta di darmi noia

Music by:
Carlo Gesualdo de Venosa
Text by:
Carlo Gesualdo de Venosa

Resta di darmi noia,

pensier crudo e fallace,

ch'esser non può già mai quel che a te piace!

Morta è per me la gioia,

onde sperar non lice

d'esser mai più felice.

English Translation:

Cease giving me trouble, 

cruel and deceitful thought. 

for what you desire can never be. 

Joy is dead to me, 

therefore I'm allowed no hope

of ever being happy again.

Hear My Prayer, O Lord

Music by:
Henry Purcell
Text by:
Psalms 102:1

Hear my prayer, O Lord, and let my crying come unto Thee.

Deep River

Music by:
arranged by Alexander Lloyd Blake
Text by:
African-American Spiritual

Deep river,

My home is over Jordan.

Deep river Lord,

I want to cross over into campground.

Don’t you want to go

To that gospel feast,

That promised land where all is peace

Tulips

Music by:
Shawn Kirchner
Text by:
Sylvia Plath

The tulips are too excitable, it is winter here.

Look how white everything is, how quiet, how snowed-in.   

I am learning peacefulness, lying by myself quietly

As the light lies on these white walls, this bed, these hands.   

I am nobody; I have nothing to do with explosions.   

I have given my name and my day-clothes up to the nurses   

And my history to the anesthetist and my body to surgeons.

I didn’t want any flowers, I only wanted

To lie with my hands turned up and be utterly empty.

How free it is, you have no idea how free——

The peacefulness is so big it dazes you.

Before they came the air was calm

Then the tulips filled it up like a loud noise.

Now the air snags and eddies round them  

They concentrate my attention the way a river

Snags and eddies around a sunken, rusted engine

The tulips are too red in the first place, they hurt me.

Their redness talks to my wound, it corresponds.

They are subtle : they seem to float, though they weigh me down, 

A dozen red lead sinkers round my neck.

The tulips should be behind bars like dangerous animals;

They are opening like the mouth of some great African cat,   

And I am aware of my heart: it opens and closes.

It’s a bowl of red blooms, out of sheer love of me.

The water I taste is warm, and salt, like the sea,

And comes from a country far away as health.

Angelica Rowell and David Morales, soloists

Conversations with Strangers

Music by:
Natalie Dietterich
Text by:
Note from the composer - This text was assembled from fragments of conversations I had with people whom I had never previously met. I was moved by the deeply personal things people were willing to share, despite our lack of a direct relationship toward one another. I have chosen phrases that follow three particular strangers I have met, and their hardship, representing the struggles of many that go unconsidered as we pass by and continue with our lives.

It will be four years in May

Her addiction’s a quick fix to feeling better, feeling normal

Every once in awhile she comes back

I took eighteen of them

I don’t know if I was really trying to kill myself

These hands, they sleep

I was there for three years off and on

She wants everything

At some point you have to live

Big White Room

Music by:
Jessie J, arranged by Nathan Heldman
Text by:
Jessie J

Sittin’ in a big white room alone

Tilt my head back, feel the tears fall down

Close my eyes to see in the dark.

I feel young, broken, so, so scared.

I don’t wanna be here anymore,

I wanna be somewhere else

Normal and free, like I used to be

But I have to stay in this big white room

With little old me

I’m going crazy

I’m losing my mind

I’m going crazy

In this big white room of mine

Sitting in a big white room alone

Close the door

Don't want the pain to come in

I clench my fist

And try to stay strong

I cry, feel sick

My heart is beating out of control

Can I run run faster than you

I wanna feel my body again

Feel the wind in my hair

But I have to stay in this big white room

'Cause no one else cares, no

I'm going crazy

I'm losing my mind

I'm going crazy

In this big white room of mine

Everybody's looking at me

Everybody's staring at me

What do I do now

Smile, yeah

I'm going crazy

I'm losing my mind

I'm going crazy

In this big white room of mine

Natalie Gonzalez, soloist

No, Child. No Child

Music by:
Alex Wurman
Text by:
Alex Wurman

The child within shows not a glimpse of pain.

Holding all of it in,

Mighty child refrain.

The powers that be are all a bit insane

Swallowing what us free

Cutting off the main.

You can’t have known you ran to hide.

And now you’ve grown

Your memories died.

Conform he must fall in and stay in line

He won’t betray their trust

His needs must realign

They push and shove

their spirit is confined

Keep searching out for their love

And they will be just fine

You can’t have known

You ran to hide

And now you’ve grown

Your memories died

And when you’ve truly grown

You’ll know you’re not alone 

It’s time to free my body and my mind

The happier I’ll be

When nurturing is mine

Be calm, provide

With my tenderness to give

The hurting will subside

And I’ll be free to live

I can’t have known

You simply ran to hide

And now that I have grown

I know I’m not alone

Isaiah Chacon and Cassandra Duschane, soloists

Please Stay

Music by:
Jake Runestad
Text by:
Text 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

You Find Yourself Here

Music by:
Dale Trumbore
Text by:
Dale Trumbore

You find yourself here,

different somehow,

learning to build a life worth living.

You carry it home.

You learn to abandon what isn't important,

to sit still,

to stay in one place.

You learn to watch over yourself

when there's no one else

to watch over,

and no one to watch over you.

You see yourself reflected;

you learn to love what you see.

You live with yourself,

you live.

You find yourself here,

different somehow,

learning to build a life worth living.

You carry it home.

You Will Be Found

Music by:
Pasek and Paul, arranged by Nathan Heldman
Text by:
Pasek and Paul

Have you ever felt like nobody was there?

Have you ever felt forgotten in the middle of nowhere?

Have you ever felt like you could disappear?

Like you could fall, and no one would hear?

Well, let that lonely feeling wash away

Maybe there’s a reason to believe you’ll be okay

‘Cause when you don’t feel strong enough to stand

You can reach, reach out your hand

And oh, someone will coming running

And I know, they’ll take you home

Even when the dark comes crashing through

When you need a friend to carry you

And when you’re broken on the ground

You will be found

So let the sun come streaming in

'Cause you’ll reach up and you’ll rise again

Lift your head and look around

You will be found

There’s a place where we don’t have to feel unknown

And every time that you call out

You’re a little less alone

If you only say the word

From across the silence

Your voice is heard

Even when the dark comes crashing through

When you need a friend to carry you

And when you’re broken on the ground

You will be found

So let the sun come streaming in

'Cause you’ll reach up and you’ll rise again

Lift your head and look around

You will be found

Out of the shadows

The morning is breaking

And all is new, all is new

It's filling up the empty

And suddenly I see that

All is new, all is new

You are not alone

Kim Dawson and Zachary Zaret, soloists

Performers

Soprano

  • Anna Crumley
  • Caroline McKenzie
  • Hannah Penzner
  • Meredith Pyle
  • Addy Sterrett
  • Chloe Vaught

Alto

  • Lindsay Abdou
  • Tehillah Alphonso
  • Natalie Gonzalez
  • Bekka Knauer
  • Arie Lugo
  • Valerie Tambaoan

Tenor

  • Jonny Arenas
  • Isaiah Chacon
  • Chris Gomez
  • David Morales
  • Darrell Morris
  • Rohan Ramanan

Bass

  • Jonathan Byram
  • Gregory Fletcher
  • Matthew Lewis
  • Ian Luna
  • Carl Oser

Instrumentalists

  • Kristen Simpson, piano

Vocal Percussion

  • Alex Homami

Deaf Interpreters

  • Michael Agyin
  • La'Rina Carolina
  • LA Mehammad

Hearing Interpreters

  • Gema Niebla
  • Ashley Rodriguez

Usher Interpreters

  • David Lizama

Special Thanks

Managing Director & Executive Administrator

  • Hannah Penzner

Tonality Board of Directors

  • Dr. Alexander Lloyd Blake, Executive Director
  • Dr. David Connors, Board Chair
  • Dr. Tram Sparks, Vice Board 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
  • Joel Thompson

Advisory Board Members

  • Dr. Derrell Acon
  • Melissa Denton
  • Kristy Edmunds
  • Luke McEndarfer
  • Jen Rogers
  • Leslie Thomas
  • Booker White

We sincerely thank:

  • ProBono ASL
  • Nate Fratzke
  • Hannah Lewis
  • Hannah Penzner
  • Daniel Saunders
  • Kristen Simpson
  • Jasmine Sorgen
  • Zachary Zaret

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.

Acknowledgments

2021-2022 Supporters of Tonality

  • California Arts Council
  • California Community Foundation LA Arts Recovery Fund
  • California Impact Grant
  • Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture Organizational Grant
  • Michael and Irene Ross Endowment of the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles
  • Tejemos Foundation

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  • Shawn Kirchner
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  • Joe Trapanese

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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.

Los Angeles LGBT Center

Since 1969 the Los Angeles LGBT Center has cared for, championed, and celebrated LGBT individuals and families in Los Angeles and beyond.

NoStigmas | Mental Health Support & Suicide Awareness Community

NoStigmas is a global peer-led movement raising awareness for mental health & suicide prevention by empowering wellness advocates through education, peer support & positive action.

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