VOH Presents “Dancing in the Rain!” A Virtual Celebration of Hope!
On Tuesday, November 30th (Giving Tuesday), Voices of Hope will present Dancing in the Rain, a virtual musical celebration of resilience and hope.
Over one hundred plus members worked on this virtual cabaret. The production represents a tapestry of talent featuring 8 full scale music videos, 7 of which were designed, recorded, filmed, and edited entirely by Voices of Hope members. With additional commentary, storytelling and guest appearances, this performance is a tribute to the resilience that has sustained us in the darkest of days, and a reflection of the hope that kept us moving forward.
In Spring 2020, Voices of Hope (VOH) was just a few weeks out from presenting its spring musical fundraiser at North Shore Music Theater when suddenly the curtain was brought down and the lights went out. COVID-19 had struck with a heavy hand and stages around the world went silent.
Thinking the crisis would pass by the fall and productions would resume, members were encouraged to film music videos at home to keep active and connected until that time. These individual submissions were then compiled into what soon became a series of virtual cabarets shared with the staff and patients at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center.
VOH Executive Artistic Director Dana Siegal’s thought was, “If we can’t raise money now… perhaps we can raise spirits.” But as time progressed it became clear that VOH would not be returning to live theater anytime soon. So they shifted gears and explored opportunities to expand their recording concept in a way that would allow them to work more effectively AND safely with their members.
Graced with a new grant, VOH built out their existing rehearsal space, incorporating a 12-station, COVID-safe recording studio. From there, the production team was once again up and running and they were able to create a number of new productions under the banner of “VOH on Air”:
- Old Time Radio Production of “Arsenic and Old Lace”, complete with commercial jingles
- “You Will be Found”, a professional music video produced by MGH for their CenterStage 2020 fundraiser
- Hope for the Holidays Virtual Cabaret
- Cardinal Café – an original podcast series featuring interviews with individuals in the arts and other philanthropic organizations like VOH finding ways to be creative and stay afloat during the COVID crisis
- “Seize the Day”, a professional music video to promote Battleship Cove filmed aboard the USS Massachusetts
“It was an amazing learning experience” says Greg Chastain, VOH President and Founder.” This past spring (2021) when it became obvious that we were nowhere near a level of safety to resume live performance, we took all we had learned and applied it to the creation of a virtual gala with seven full scale music videos.”
They recorded vocal and music tracks in the studio and filmed videos at locations including Gillette Stadium, the grounds of North Shore Music Theater, the Healing Garden at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Marblehead harbor. All the work—artistic design, music direction, choreography, recording, video work both on the ground and in the air with drones, and then hundreds of hours of editing— has all been done by our volunteer members.
“Like so many others during this pandemic, we incorporated new performance options and are thrilled to share this incredible tapestry of talent, building new skills and raising our voices to an expanded new audience via the social media continuum.” Siegal goes on to say, “VOH has clearly shown that life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, you must learn to dance – and sing – in the rain!!”.
We invite you all to log into www.vohboston.org and enjoy the premiere of this musical celebration of resilience and hope. The cabaret will remain available through the end of the year for viewers unable to watch it when it premieres. In lieu of ticket sales for a live performance, VOH is requesting a comparable donation to help support their mission to help make cancer history! Donations of any amount will be gratefully accepted on behalf of the amazing doctors, scientists, and nurses at the Termeer Center for Targeted Therapies at the MGH Cancer Center. To date, Voices of Hope has donated $836,000 to cancer research and plans to be back performing live in 2022 as it is on a March to a Million!