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Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute Presents In Response on April 28 at 7:00PM

Free Streamed Online Program Showcases Original Music by More than 20 Songwriters of All Ages from Across the United States, Inspired by WMI Creative Learning Project

In Response Is Part of Carnegie Hall’s Online Voices of Hope Festival, Examining the Life-Affirming Power of Music and the Arts During Times of Crisis

(New York, NY, April 8, 2021)— Songwriters of all ages from across the United States—all participants in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute (WMI) education and social impact programs—will share their thoughts, hopes, and visions for a better world through original music written this year as part of In Response. This special online presentation will stream for free on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. EDT on Carnegie Hall’s website, Facebook, and YouTube channels during the Hall’s first-ever online festival, Voices of Hope. In Response will also be available to watch on-demand following the premiere on carnegiehall.org.

Responding to both personal and global challenges facing us today, WMI songwriters and composers—from age 10 through adults—have channeled their energies into writing new music exploring a variety of themes, including the COVID-19 pandemic; pressing social justice issues including systemic racism and police brutality; and many of the everyday challenges faced by all of us over the last year. The program celebrates voices from across the country, featuring their original work in intimate videos filmed from home. In Response is a testament to the resilience of artists and the many ways that music can empower communities in the face of the world’s challenges.

The more than 20 songs that will be showcased on the program encompass a wide variety of styles including folk, pop, R&B, spoken word, bluegrass, and more, exploring different themes such as racial injustice, tenacity, creativity, isolation, advocacy, and empathy. The original music shows different ways that individuals and communities can respond creatively to reflect on circumstances, and inspire and prompt change. For a special look into the presentation, click here to watch In Response’s 60-second video trailer.

Among the composers whose works have been selected for the musical performance are participants in Future Music Project, a WMI program for teens to create, perform, and produce original music; Music Educators Workshop, which brings together teachers who work in schools and communities with K–12 students for community building and professional development; and Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra of the United States (NYO-USA), one of the Hall’s three acclaimed national youth ensembles for outstanding teen musicians from across the US. Additional songwriters/performers include men who participate in Carnegie Hall’s Musical Connections program at Sing Sing Correctional Facility, educators and students from WMI’s PlayUSA network, as well as teaching artists, and more.

“This season, we asked creators from across the country to think about the times we live in and to write music inspired by their experiences and their visions for the future,” said Sarah Johnson, Chief Education Officer and Director of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. “Writing a piece of music can be a hopeful act that can help us to process and make sense of the unprecedented events we are living through. These composers bring a unique, refreshing perspective to each deeply personal song. We can’t wait to share this incredible new music with audiences at home, amplifying the voices of our dynamic WMI community.”

The April 28 In Response presentation is part of Carnegie Hall’s Voices of Hope online festival, presented from April 16-30, 2021, with programs exploring the resilience of artists and works they felt compelled to create despite—and often because of—appalling circumstances and human tragedy. Anchoring the festival will be free streamed musical performances presented nightly by Carnegie Hall over the two weeks, ranging from orchestral and chamber works to folk and jazz. Offerings by more than 40 leading cultural and academic organizations extend the scope of the festival through online programming and events, exhibitions, performances, and film screenings, considering humankind’s capacity for hope, courage, and resilience in the face of the unimaginable.


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Carnegie Hall has expanded its free digital offerings throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, creating special resource pages for educators, families, and young musicians, bringing together collections of free, high-quality materials designed to inspire learning, discovery, and play at home. As part of this effort, the Hall released step-by-step instructional videos on songwriting, led by teaching artist Bridget Barkan. Starting with the history and purpose of music, Ms. Barkan shares her thoughtful and personal take on songwriting concepts including inspiration; song structure, including writing a chorus, verses and bridge; and completing a song. As part of the series, viewers at home go on a visual journey throughout the five boroughs of New York City and the videos celebrate the city’s long-lasting legacy as a center for music.


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Program Information
Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 7:00 PM (EDT)
Streaming on Carnegie Hall’s website, Facebook and YouTube channels

Songs to include:

“Keep Walking Walkers”

Skye Steele (Brooklyn, NY)

“Towards Uhuru”

Elijah J. Thomas (New York, NY)

“See My Friends Again”

Joe Hamm and Soundscapes (Newport News, VA)

“Eye of the Storm”

Gabe Johnson (Cranston, RI)

“I Can't Breathe”

Amanda Seeley (New York, NY)

“Impossible the Norm”

Ruth Kendall (Brooklyn, NY)

“Sunrise Summit”

Lily Honigberg (Boston, MA)

"Portrait 2020"

Maxwell Lu (Dayton, MD)

“Change the Game”

Julia Piccard (Brooklyn, NY)

“For Humanity's Sake”

Beata Moon (Queens, NY)

“Something to Believe”

Javy Polanco (New York, NY)

“We Are Here”

Briony Price (Queens, NY)

“The Toll of Vigilence”

Amell Quezada, Dorien Bennett, Keon Jones, Ashton Coppin (Brooklyn, NY)

“Small Things”

Deborah Adesodun, Imaani Russell, Ruth Kendall, Kiara Frazier (Brooklyn, NY)

“Our Power”

Nia Eckstein, Skyy Jones, Triston Falby (Brooklyn, NY)

“It's Such a Shame”

Alexander Patrie, Fernanda Franco (New Haven, CT)

“Be The Light”

New Bridges Elementary School (Brooklyn, NY)

“Dr. Wise on Influenza”

Zhi Chen (Queens, NY)


Dan Nuñez (Bronx, NY)


James T. (Brooklyn, NY)


Alfred (Brooklyn, NY)

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About Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute
Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute (WMI) creates visionary programs that embody Carnegie Hall’s commitment to music education, playing a central role in fulfilling the Hall’s mission of making great music accessible to as many people as possible. With unparalleled access to the world’s greatest artists, WMI’s programs are designed to inspire audiences of all ages, nurture tomorrow’s musical talent, and harness the power of music to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives. An integral part of Carnegie Hall’s concert season, these programs facilitate creative expression, develop musical skills and capacities at all levels, and encourage participants to make lifelong personal connections to music. The Weill Music Institute generates new knowledge through original research and is committed to giving back to its community and the field, sharing an extensive range of online music education resources and program materials for free with teachers, orchestras, arts organizations, and music lovers worldwide. More than 800,000 people each year engage in WMI’s programs through national and international partnerships, in New York City schools and community settings, and at Carnegie Hall. This includes more than half a million students and teachers worldwide who participate in WMI’s Link Up music education program for students in grades 3 through 5, made possible through Carnegie Hall partnerships with more than 115 orchestras in the US, as well as internationally in New Zealand, Canada, China, Japan, Kenya, and Spain.

For more information, please visit: carnegiehall.org/Education


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Public support for In Response is provided by New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.

Public support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Carnegie Hall thanks generous supporters of the wide range of music education and social impact programs created by the Weill Music Institute.


Photos of select songwriters: Beata Moon by Douglas Gorenstein.

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