New Idea: MUSICALS for Change!

Hi - Beth here, founder of Hope Sings.

As some of you know, I lead sort of a double life. In one half, I run Hope Sings. In the other, I write musicals. 

Sometimes, I've felt a bit schizophrenic, like there's a Berlin Wall between my two existences. 

Until recently, when I had an epiphany. That my musicals - and all the musicals I love - are up to the same thing as Hope Sings: harnessing the power of song and story to inspire change.

So coming soon to Hope Sings: a broadened focus to include musicals. 

Coming really soon (a/k/a NOW), a shameless focus on my latest musical, Oneida (I am doing book/lyrics, music is by Lizzie Hagstedt).

I just returned from 10 days in Hanover, NH at the first ever VoxFest at Dartmouth College. Vox Theatre aims to bring Dartmouth alums back to the college to create new theatre works. This festival presented seven new works in various stages of development - including Oneida.

Oneida is about our desire (struggle?) to be happier, better, more loving people - and about the revolutionary community in upstate New York that created amazing ways of living and loving in pursuit of that desire (struggle?). They were front page news for 30 years in the mid-1800's (in fact, the founder coined the term "free love" - way back then!) - but now the only thing most people know is the silverware they made (Oneida - obviously). 

We had an incredible cast that was a combo-pack of professionals and students - here are some of us - and I'm happy to report the audience loved our informal presentation - more news to come!

Oneida (left to right): Paul Frazel, Chris Gallerani, Beth Blatt, Katie Bruestle, Emma Orme, Katelyn Onufrey

Oneida (left to right): Paul Frazel, Chris Gallerani, Beth Blatt, Katie Bruestle, Emma Orme, Katelyn Onufrey

Hope Sings at Dartmouth College

On May 16, Hope Sings notched another milestone: the debut of the first a cappella version of one of our original songs!

The all-women group, the Dartmouth Decibelles did a special arrangement of "Hope," by Alih Jey and Ines Gaviria. See the video below.

The song was the finale of a fundraising benefit held at Dartmouth for Hope Sings and Grameen U, the initiative from Grameen America that sets up clubs at universities around the country to support them.

Kudos to Campbell Secrest and Mahala Pagan, who organized the event for Grameen U, and Bailey Hoar, the musical director for the Deci's (as they're called). Bailey did the arrangement of "Hope" and rallied the other a cappella groups who performed (the Brovertones and the Cords).

It's one of those fun, synchronicity stories how it all came about. When HS founder Beth Blatt was at Dartmouth, she sang with the Woodswind, as the Deci's used to be called. The musical director of the group back then was Eve Pratt, now Eve Hoar - and by the last name, you can perhaps tell that she is Bailey's mother. About six months prior,  Beth was chatting with Bailey, and they noodled on how cool it would be to do an a cappella arrangement of a Hope Sings song. One day.

Enter HS intern Raul Silva-Behrens. One of his tasks was to connect with college campuses and microfinance clubs to let them know about Hope Sings and search for collaboration opportunities. At Bucknell, he found Nicole Meyers, who was heading up the Grameen U effort. Turns out, they'd just formed a chapter at Dartmouth. Wouldn't it be great to do an event with Grameen U and Hope Sings at Dartmouth?

And thus the evening was born.

Money was raised. Awareness of microfinance was raised. The roof was raised by some great singing. Check out the video here, or go to our youtube channel

MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL - we now have an a cappella arrangement of the song that ANY GROUP ANYWHERE CAN PERFORM!! What better way to get the word out about the power of microfinance than with the power of song - an original Hope Sings song? Tell all the a cappellistas you know, it's through them that HOPE SINGS!

You can download Bailey's arrangement on our "buy" page.