057: Giving through song. Music Director Allan Friedman and SONAM contribute to our community.

In the last 7 years, SONAM has given benefit concerts for more than 20 nonprofits from veterans organizations, to organizations that assist with food insecurity, young musicians, refugees, and more. Dr. Allan Friedman is the founding director of SONAM, Singers of New and Ancient Music, a chorus committed to creating high-quality sacred and secular music and giving back to the community. Their mission is to make excellent choral music that supports local non-profits through benefit concerts. SONAM makes music accessible, relevant, and a force for good for our community. We talk about why SONAM works, what kinds of music you might hear at a SONAM concert (which is based thematically on the nonprofit they feature) and more.

SONAM invites you to their Winter 2018 concert on Saturday, January 5, 2019 at 7:30PM at First Presbyterian Church of Durham. The concert will benefit Book Harvest, a non profit serving children in central NC by supplying books and literacy support and will feature music of lullabies and dreams primarily from composers of the Baltic Basin.

Click here for  more information on that concert and other upcoming SONAM concerts.

Dr. Allan Friedman is the Music Director at Judea Reform Congregation in Durham, the Artistic Director of Women’s Voices Chorus, and the founding director of SONAM, Singers of New and Ancient Music.  From 2004 to 2012 he served as the associate conductor of Duke Chapel Music, directing the Duke Vespers Ensemble and the Duke Divinity School Choir. Friedman is also an active composer and a music educator of people of various ages throughout the Triangle.

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Time break-down:

[0:00] Episode intro and Allan’s bio.

[2:19] Allan’s mission to make music more accessible for everyone

[3:39] Sing-Shaming: The emotional, psychological, and physical effects, and how Allan plans to combat this with accessibility

[7:45] The moment Allan knew what he wanted to do with his life

[9:04] Allan’s advice for people who want to sing, but are apprehensive for whatever reason

[11:07] Why Allan founded SONAM (Singers of New and Ancient Music), its goals to give back, and why the singers volunteer their time

[14:48] Why SONAM tends to focus on ancient and new music (and why they skip the music from “in between” )

[17:15] How SONAM partners with nonprofits and uses their causes to inspire concert themes and music selections

[18:30] Allan describes the planning process for SONAM’s themed concerts

[20:29] How has SONAM evolved over it’s seven year history?

[23:39] Allan talks about his favorite concert experiences

[26:40] How might SONAM evolve as time goes on

[28:31] The makeup of SONAM’s audience, and how the nonprofits they partner with effect that

[29:37] Allan’s dreams for  SONAM

[31:23]  Allan reflects on why he thought this endeavor would work, and the leap of faith it took.

[33:37] SONAM’s upcoming concerts

[35:29] The origins SONAM’s name

[36:07] Allan shares about other upcoming projects and events outside of SONAM (including a Broadway pop-up chorus!)

[37:34] Thanks and sign-off

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  • We’re taught from a very young age in this culture to hide your light under a bushel, don’t sing out, don’t express yourself through music, when we know it’s so natural
  • I was taught when I was young that the two greatest motivators in the world were fear and money and I decided early on that that was not going to be something I wanted to do as a conductor – and so we motivate each other through respect, love, and respect for the music.

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