Broadway favorites Lilly Cooper, Emma Hunton, Jonah Platt, and Ciara Renée join a virtual choir and orchestra of 77 performers to sing Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk's "Holding On" in a fundraiser for the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU). Kerrigan and Lowdermilk are hosting the fundraiser on Facebook, where donations will be matched up to $1000. To donate, click here.
The project, spearheaded by music director Jeremy Robin Lyons, came out of a desire to build community and provide a creative outlet during the COVID-19 quarantine.
"I wanted to make something huge with as much heart as possible," says Lyons, "something with an expansive arrangement but musically accessible, where anyone who was moved to participate could jump in and sing a chorus or two, or play a part or two, and just come together as a virtual community to create something beautiful with a message of perseverance during such a tumultuous time."
Lyons selected "Holding On" from Kerrigan and Lowdermilk's in-development musical The Bad Years because of its uplifting message. Lyons expanded the orchestration and gathered Bad Years alum along with singers and musicians around the world to create the video, which includes performances from 40 singers, 36 musicians, and one ASL interpreter.
"This is a song about the ways hope can endure and sustain in spite of uncertainty and pain," says the songwriting pair. "The only thing you know is that your life and perspective will keep changing and that means that you will always be in a process of growing up again.”
The video also promotes the The New York Civil Liberties Union, which fights for civil liberties and civil rights through litigation, advocacy, and community organizing, working to end violent and racist policing, promote LGBTQ+ rights, advocate for people in jails and prisons, expand voter protections, and more. Recently, NYCLU worked with partners to successfully pass several critical police reforms, including 50-a and the STAT Act. They are also advocating for students' rights to equal education, expanding worker protections, and protecting and releasing people from jails, prisons, and immigration detention in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kerrigan and Lowdermilk's musicals include The Mad Ones, The Bad Years, Henry & Mudge, and Rosie Revere Engineer & Friends. Their work has been produced and developed at The Kennedy Center, The Kimmel Center, Lincoln Center, La Jolla Playhouse, and Goodspeed, and they have held residencies at The Orchard Project and MacDowell Colony. They are currently working on Kill The Boy Band with Jiehae Park and Republic with Michael Arden.
"Holding On" features music coordination and supervision by Lyons, vocal arrangement and original orchestrations by Lowdermilk, expanded orchestrations by Lyons, audio production by Dan Garmon, and video editing and production by Tim Chaffee.
The virtual choir features soloists Cooper, Hunton, Platt, Renée, Daisy Carnelia, Sydney James Harcourt, Melissa Rose Hirsch, Tatiana Lofton, Anastacia McCleskey, and Angelo McDonough, along with Rianelle Alba, Jarred Bedgood, Joshua Rex T. Cheng, Nicole Corris, Steven Cuevas, Isabel Anastasia Esguerra, Sidney Fisher, Marco Gitto, Caitlin Glastonbury, Emily Haynes, Barbara Allen Hill, Serena Hope Hohenstein, Nadia Howe, Katie Hughes, Kaho Kidoguchi, Lisa Kropp, Kristie Kummerer, Jeremy Robin Lyons, Kate Mannix, Ashley Nicole Martin, Nami Muzo, Evan Jay Newman, Beth Roy, Stacey Scotte, Eric Stephenson, Jim Vivyan, Jennifer Wilcove, Nick Wilders, Ernest Zalamea, and Meg Zervoulis.
The virtual orchestra includes Chris Agar, Kate Amrine, Chris Bastian, Matthew Boeckers, Katie Chambers, Kevin Chavez, Stephanie Chuksudoon, Ben Covello, Steven Cuevas, Will Curry, Madysen D'Angelo, Jenna Dolan, Ginna Doyle, Dan Garmon, David Michael Garry, Lino Gomez, Gordon Green, Ka-te Hernandez, Steven Holzer, Marty Isenberg, David Kawamura, Kait Kerrigan, Ed Kessel, Lloyd Kikoler, Magda Kress, Jeremy Robin Lyons, Chris Morrison, Lawrence Ngo, Hayden Oliver , Isabella Ryan, Gabriela Salvador-Riera, Landon Smelker, Jordan Thomas, Benjamin Tiberio, Justin Vance, and Lynette Wardle.