In May of this year, the organization Hope Sings launched new series Insider Tracks in which established and emerging artists donate never-released songs for download as a fundraiser for The Dramatists Guild Foundation’s COVID-19 emergency grants program.
In an exclusive release debuting on Playbill, Insider Tracks offers a listen to Rona Siddiqui’s “Traveling While Brown” from her musical Salaam Medina: Tales of a Halfghan and “What We Wore” which she wrote for director Andrew Willis-Woodard’s stripped-down production of Measure for Measure. Salaam Medina: Tales of a Halfghan is an autobiographical comedy about growing up bi-ethnic in America. The work received a developmental workshop at Playwrights Horizons.
The song “Consensus is Hard” by Michael Friedman, from one of the cabaret shows The Civilians presented about Occupy Wall Street, was also recently released.
Hear previews of all three songs below:
Click here to download the full tracks.
“I’d been wanting to do something to help writers who are struggling financially these days,” says founder Beth Blatt. “I see Insider Tracks as a virtuous circle. It offers musical theatre fans the rare chance to download and enjoy undiscovered gems from writers they know and ones they don’t know—yet. It funds vital grants to artists. And it lets writers help other writers. Everyone wins.”
To date, Insider Tracks has released songs by Maury Yeston (Nine, Titanic), Michael R. Jackson (A Strangle Loop) & Anna K. Jacobs (Teeth), Gretchen Cryer (Getting My Act Together…), David Kirshenbaum (Vanities), Curtis Moore & Tom Mizer (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Adam Gwon (Ordinary Days), Andy Monroe (The Kid), as well as Jaime Lozano, Georgia Stitt, Masi Asare, EllaRose Chary & Brandon Gwinn, Jonathan Brielle, Jeremy Desmon & Jeff Thomson, Derek Gregor, and Hope Sings founder Blatt.
Tracks range from cut songs from musicals to standalones that have never been published, as well as songwriter demos. Listen to more and download them here.
Siddiqui was recently awarded a 2020 Jonathan Larson Grant. In 2019, she won the 2019 Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award. She was named one of Broadway Women's Fund's Women to Watch for 2020 and she performed her concert Rona Siddiqui: Halfghan on a Mission at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Siddiqui served as music director on the Pulitzer Prize-winning Off-Broadway musical A Strange Loop.
Friedman was a beloved composer-lyricist and founding artistic associate of The Civilians. He received a 2007 Obie award for sustained excellence. He wrote the music and lyrics to Broadway’s Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, which earned two Tony nominations and won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical (it bowed in 2009 at the Public Theater). Though Friedman passed away in 2017, The Civilians continue to produce work and keep his legacy alive.