We're excited to share some info about a recent songwriting workshop, from October 11th, 2013, in Baltimore at Emmanuel Episcopal Church (EECBaltimore).
In honor of National Coming Out Day, EECBaltimore and Decoda collaborated on the We Are Family Songbook Project, a song-writing workshop designed to bring LGBTQ youth and LGBTQ elders together to share stories, their challenges and triumphs, their culture and context, their history and herstory.
These two organizations saw a need in the community to bridge the generation gap in the LGBTQ community. LGBTQ youth often feel isolated from their history and culture, while the elders feel isolated by age and a lack of understanding for the struggles they endured. By encouraging these two communities to tell their stories through song, the songbook project provided a mutually beneficial “knitting together” of the LGBTQ community.
The We Are Family Songbook was created through workshops led by four Decoda musicians, working with ten LGBTQ community members. We had nightly group workshops between October 6th - 10th, with individual sessions happening each day. The culminating performance of the songbook was on National Coming Out Day - October 11th, 2013.
Below you can see the concert program and experience some of the incredible songs that were created through the wonderful journey we had collaborating. As you'll see, we had a wonderful mix of compositions, collaborations, and forms of expression:
- Decoda performed and arranged several short pieces for the event.
- We were able to present 6 different pieces, each created by an individual participant, in collaboration with members of Decoda. One of these was Decoda's musical realization or interpretation of visual art by participant Charlotte Bunting Floyd.
- Over the course of the entire week, we also collaboratively created one song "Dance Together", which included ideas from all participating members and represented a unified message of advice from and to the LGBTQ community.
This important event at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Baltimore was supported in part Free Fall Baltimore 2013. We would like to thank John Bowen, Director of Music, at Emmanuel Episcopal Church and EECBaltimore for bringing this project to life.
Check out the article and audio interview about the project on Radio Nederland's based blog Hablemos da Amor:
Here's the music for "Dance Together" in case you feel like singing along!