Making Sweet Music with The Lullaby Project

Posted on Thursday June 25, 2015

We are honored to have been selected again this year for participation in Carnegie Hall’s Lullaby Project, in collaboration with Bay Chamber Concerts & Music School with additional support from Hearst Studios. The Lullaby Project is part of Carnegie Hall’s Musical Connections program, which works with teen parents, homeless parents and incarcerated parents, pairing them with professional artists to write personal lullabies for their babies, strengthening the bond between parent and child. For the second year in a row we have had the privilege of working with Bay Chamber and Hearst Studios to write and record our own lullabies.

This year, seven Passages students participated, along with professional musicians Matthew Fogg, Stephanie Fogg, Nate Martin, April Reed-Cox, and Bay Chamber Concerts Artistic Director, Manuel Bagorro. The result was six beautiful lullabies, one of which was selected to be performed live in New York by Carnegie Hall musicians.

After many months of working on this project, we gathered at Bay Chamber last month to hear the final recordings, as well as live performances of two of the lullabies.  The results were fantastic!  The first lullaby we heard was “Hadley” with its lovely refrain, “I’ll be there for you”, written by Passages student Breanna Moody, who was pregnant with Hadley when she wrote it. “Every time I played it she would kick and move around,” Breanna said.  Now that Hadley is here, Breanna says, “I wouldn’t have chosen anything else, it’s perfect for her, I think she likes it.”

mom and babeBreanna and Hadley

Next up was “My Dear Addyson,” by Lindsey Hinckley. The room quickly grew quiet and several people became teary eyed listening to the music and lyrics. Afterwards, Lindsey said, ” When I first walked in here and realized we’d be making our own songs I thought, ‘no way’, I’m not capable of that. But we did it and it was an awesome experience. Seeing the recording studio was really cool. I never thought I’d be able to see the inside of a recording studio. It will be cool to get to share this experience with my daughter when she gets older.” Of the lullaby itself, Artistic Director Manuel Bagorro said, “It’s beautiful. It had an effect on this room, very calming, very effective.”

We also heard “Waves on the Shore,” the lullaby written by student Autumn Larrondo for her son, Donald, and “Babies Don’t Have Wings,” written by student Selaina Leigh for her daughter, Leah. Donald became very relaxed and calm while listening to his lullaby and Autumn said, “It’s cool to see how he reacts to it,” while Manuel added, “He’s very musical.” Of her lullaby for Leah, Selaina said, “One of the things I love about this song is that it’s her, completely. It’s been a fun process. Her face lit up and she was dancing.”

donald

Autumn’s son Donald, taking a turn at the piano. 

dancing girl

Lindsey and Selaina’s daughters, Addyson and Leah, taking in the music.

Finally, we heard “Take a Breath,” by student Deidra Pushard and “Now You’re Here” with its beautiful lyric, “You’re perfect, in every way, you’re so beautiful, I can’t explain,” by students Brittany Sprague and Sabrina Jones-Jollotta. “Gorgeous,” was how Manuel summed it up.

He also said, of the whole process, “You did something really wonderful, something to be proud of. It’s taken a tremendous amount of courage and I’m proud of everyone who was involved. It’s a big deal.”

Passages teacher Erica Gates said, “I’m very proud to be part of this, it’s a wonderful opportunity for our students. I hope we get to continue this project with Carnegie Hall and By Chamber.”

everyone

Students, babies, teachers and musicians.

musicians and babesThe musicians, l-r, April Reed-Cox, Cello; Stephanie Fogg, voice; Nate Martin, bass; Matthew Fogg, piano. Here they are playing “Hadley,” which was selected to be performed live by Carnegie Hall musicians in New York. Also pictured are  Selaina’s daughter Leah, and baby Hadley with her mom, Breanna Moody, in red. After hearing her song was selected Breanna said, “I just can’t believe it, it’s crazy. I feel very honored.”

manuel

Artistic Director Manuel Bagorro

You can listen to all the beautiful lullabies, here. Scroll to The Bay Chamber Concerts section at the bottom to hear the lullabies recorded by our students. A very big thank you to Carnegie Hall, Bay Chamber Concerts and Hearst Studios!

https://soundcloud.com/carnegiehalllullaby