Arts First Oakland 2501 Harrison Street, Suite 1 Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 444-8511 x15 firstname.lastname@example.org December 12, 2008 For Immediate Release Contact: Sunshine Becker, 510-507.7664, email@example.com ENDING THE YEAR IN SONG SoVoSó members bring closure to 2008 with twelve hours of improvised a cappella (OAKLAND, CA) – Arts First Oakland invites singers and listeners alike to join members of SoVoSó in “Singing For Your Life” – a twelve-hour year-end open house, featuring improvised Circlesinging and interactive altars art at First Congregational Church of Oakland. Tuesday, December 30, from noon to midnight, all are invited to sing out the old year, or just relax and listen to the continuous, spontaneous song of closure and renewal. Throughout the day, people will come and go, sing and meditate, gather and reflect, and interact with an exhibit of Altars representing the changing of the year. Originated by Bobby McFerrin and Voicestra, ”Singing for Your Life”, a combination of concert and ritual migrated in 2002 from San Francisco's Grace Cathedral to Arts First Oakland. Now, the addition of the Art Altars and a café hosted by East Bay Food Not Bombs gives the event a distinctly East Bay flavor. SoVoSó members Sunshine Becker, Bryan Dyer, and David Worm, along with guest leader Nicolas Bearde, continue and expand the tradition, which attracts participants from all over the Bay Area and beyond. Several members of SoVoSó are originators and leading proponents of Circlesinging – a unique improvised a cappella song-form. (more) Arts First Oakland/Singing For Your Life Page 2 of 2 In Circlesinging, a skilled leader proposes layered melodic and rhythmic parts to a choir of singers, creating songs unique to the moment. As the leader cues out old parts and introduces new ones, the song continues and changes without stopping, at times supporting individual solos, always grounded in attentive listening. Singing volunteers are recruited ahead of time to ensure that there is always a core group to form the choir. Others will come and go as the day continues and the music evolves – singers at all levels of experience are encouraged to participate. In the church sanctuary and at the entrances, Venee Call-Ferrer, Deborah J. Hamouris, and other local artists will exhibit altars that represent “Be the Change You Want To See” as the theme for the ending of the year. Each altar will contain an interactive element that invites the viewer to reflect on and express the theme from different cultural perspectives, influenced by and informing the changing musical environment. Those who join the Circle will find themselves both challenged and affirmed – the result is a meditation in song, and a remarkable interfaith ritual that is sure to bring new meaning to the year’s end for all who attend. All are welcome to drop in and sing or simply enjoy listening, to connect with friends, and to make time to reflect on the Year just ending. This event is supported by the Oakland City Council and funded by the City of Oakland's Cultural Funding Program Event Information: WHAT: Singing For Your Life with members of SoVoSó and special guests WHEN: Tuesday, December 30th, Noon to Midnight (NOT NEW YEAR’S EVE) WHERE: First Congregational Church of Oakland, 2501 Harrison Street (at 27 th Street) SPONSORS: Refreshments by East Bay Food Not Bombs Massages by In-Touch Community Fundraising, to benefit Arts First Oakland COST: Suggested Donation $10 and up, sliding scale, no-one turned away for lack of funds. Contact: (510) 444-8511 x15, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.circlesing.net or www.artsfirstoakland.org ### Arts First Oakland is a non-denominational community cultural center located at First Congregational Church of Oakland, where more than thirty artists and arts organizations have come together to foster and exhibit the creativity and beauty of Oakland’s diverse cultural heritage, promoting spiritual growth and community transformation through artistic empowerment.