On Thursday, 120 volunteers from 25 area choruses and choirs will join Tony-nominated vocalist/composer Ann Hampton Calloway for a local performance of “Stand Up. Sing Out. A Concert to Stop Bullying.”
The program was created around “Tyler’s Suite,” an eight-piece choral movement put together by “Wicked” and “Pippin” composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz. Calloway composed one of the pieces for the show. She and Sound About – Summer Singers For Good will perform “Tyler’s Suite” as well as songs with messages of unity and strength such as R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts” and Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing.”
Thursday’s concert marks the first time “Tyler’s Suite” will be performed by a mixed-gender chorus.
“It was originally just written for men’s voices,” explains producer Ann Hooper. “It’s the first time this musical work has been performed with the four voices, soprano, alto, tenor and bass.”
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The concert will benefit Time Out Youth’s School Outreach Program and The Tyler Clementi Foundation’s Day 1 Plan.
Clementi, a student at Rutgers University, committed suicide in 2010 after his college roommate used a webcam to secretly record him and another man and tweeted about it.
Hooper and artistic director Kathryn Mahan, who produce the Sing for the Cure concerts to raise funds for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, came up with the idea of a similar anti-bullying concert following spiking suicide rates among teens and the suicides of two local transgender teens.
“When I went to school everyone knew who the bully was. You could avoid them. Now you can walk into a classroom and you don’t know who your nemesis is and I think that puts a whole different light on it,” says Hooper. “It’s so easy for kids to say, ‘Oh just go kill yourself’ – that kind of thing. You might not know where that’s coming from and it resonates in a different way than the bully that’s waiting for you behind the building or in the school yard.”
Aside from proceeds benefiting anti-bullying organizations, the concert will include information on how to identify and deal with cyberbullying, including a four-page resource guide put together for the event.
‘Stand Up. Sing Out.’
When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday
Where: Dale F. Halton Theatre, CPCC, 1206 Elizabeth Ave.