Attend The NAMM Show's Grand Rally for Music Education

Grand Rally for Music Education

Representation, Technology, and Inclusion Leads to Groundbreaking Music Event Celebrating Music Educators

Eric Whitacre conducts “Sing Gently” live from The Grand Rally for Music Education at The 2022 NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA on June 4 from 10-11 am.

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When the world shut down in March 2020, we immediately reached out to Composer and Conductor Eric Whitacre and his team. Our shared belief in the healing properties of music-making led us to wholeheartedly support Virtual Choir 6 and its subsequent gift to the world, “Sing Gently.” In many ways, “Sing Gently” leveled the playing field by providing free access to the music and lyrics as well as to Eric Whitacre himself, who provided free interactive video workshops based on vocal type and range.

With 41,820 sign ups and 17,572 singers representing 129 countries, this “pandemic project” turned into a lifesaving place for connection for thousands of people who had a built-in community in Virtual Choir 6. In an active and lively Facebook group, their voices combined to form a symphony of inclusion for all ages and abilities that transcended race and geography.  It became a supportive community that extended beyond the “Sing Gently” project. Complete strangers bonded over personal stories of loss and accomplishments—of fear and anxiety—and above all—of a shared love for music. Whitacre said, “technology has played a massive part in music-making and music-sharing. Through the pandemic the ability to connect personally and through music stopped many of us from losing our minds.” Whitacre built something beautiful founded upon his deep understanding between the connection of music and empathy, which resulted in one of the most meaningful musical compositions and performances of our collective lifetimes. And it all happened online.

In a recent interview with The NAMM Foundation, Whitacre shared his perspective why music is so powerful. He said, “whether it’s the lyrics, chords, melody, underlying structure and journey of a song or symphony, the emotional architecture, as I like to call it, is baked into the music.” He continued, “it’s visceral and plays a role in the development of our wisdom, compassion, and understanding of humanity.” Whitacre is much too humble to see it, but this description could be applied to his compositions and unique ability to make meaningful connections with both performers and audience members alike.

In the spirit of connecting with as many people as possible through the emotional architecture underlying his composition, “Sing Gently,” Eric Whitacre has partnered with JackTrip to produce a groundbreaking technology-powered music making experience that will be featured as part of The Grand Rally for Music Education at NAMM’s first-ever hybrid Show. Whitacre will conduct an in-person string quartet and pianist, with a live virtual choir rendition of “Sing Gently.” This historic in-person event, a feat never before attempted at The NAMM Show, will be livestreamed on the NAMM Show+ digital platform to music lovers and fans from around the world.

Music educators, college music students, music industry professionals and artists will reconvene this June, brought back together (safely) to celebrate music making in all its forms. Whitacre, a pioneer of virtual music making, still prefers to be in-person with his musicians and audiences. He shared his excitement about his return to The Grand Rally for Music Education, acknowledging that, “the collective, shared experience is crucial here – live music making—and being in the crowd or concert hall.” We couldn’t agree more.

The Grand Rally for Music Education features Eric Whitacre, The Gateways Brass Collective, with pre-show entertainment from Mariachi Joya

June 4, 2022
10-11 am PST
Anaheim, CA Convention Center, Level 3, Ballroom B
Presented by The NAMM Foundation in Collaboration with Conn-Selmer, Hal Leonard, JackTrip, and Yamaha

In-person badges and online-only passes are available

Register to attend The 2022 NAMM Show now!