About This Project

The Poem

Zoë’s Corner

Ideas for Digging Deeper


Original Commissioning Members

How to Get Involved

Frequently Asked

How would my choir be contributing to the project?

There are different ways. The main way is preparing the song. There will be a section that is the “free name” section, which will be multiple rhythms on top of each other, building and building as names get added. Each section will have different names. That they are chanting. I will supply the names, but I also am encouraging choirs to come up with their own names if they desire, so that no two performances will be the same.

You are raising awareness! The refugee crisis is the greatest humanitarian crisis in the world. Millions of children suffer from political warfare, tribal warfare, lack of natural resources, especially water. The desperate need of food and water for survival creates a need for a powerful group to come in and provide these resources. There are powerful groups that provide food and water for purely humanitarian reasons. There are other groups that provide food and water for malevolent reasons.

Also, your choir will be providing a wonderful gift for Lamiya Safarova and her family in Azerbaijan. 50% of all commission funding will be gifted to Lamiya. I bet Lamiya, at age nine, would have never thought her poem would one day not only be sung by choral groups around the world, but also provide financial relief for her family several decades later!

When will the music be ready?

The music will be ready in July so that directors can look it over and beginning planning their rehearsals and performance for the upcoming season.

When will it be performed?

This depends on the choral group. Each group will have a different performance date, though I will share performance dates when possible. How exciting would it be to know that the “Stomp” will occur simultaneously in two different cities!

About “The Stomp”, What is it?

In my compositional sketch, I envision a climactic “stomp” section. This provides a percussive emphasis to the statement “Don’t call me ‘Refugee’!”. *The stomp occurs in the “My Name is Lamiya: Don’t Call Me ‘Refugee’” score.

Can I offer input in the song?

Of course! Although I have an overall plan and have a compositional sketch for each song, all input is welcome and makes the song and message stronger! By all means, contact me by filling out the form at the bottom of the page or calling me at (516) 729-0970

My choir is a middle school choir. Will we be able to participate?

Yes! “My Name is Lamiya: Don’t Call Me ‘Refugee’” will be a medium to medium-advanced choral piece, but I will be arranging it for multiple levels, so that groups at any level can participate.  And “Lamiya’s Song” is very accessible for those middle school choirs who wish to participate, but are still appreciating simplicity in their repertoire.

Is the subject matter too mature for an elementary group?

In my opinion, I do not think either song is. I am very sensitive to “keeping kids kids”.  In a world where the news on television is often unsettling and sometimes downright scary, and at a time when anger spills out from every channel both on television and in real life, I feel it is important to address topics with all the due respect they deserve, but also with the respect for the innocence and age of the singer.

Why will the question on the inside of the cover ask about a natural disaster such as a tornado or hurricane when much of the refugee population is forced from their homes and families due to other events?

Good question. This is still under consideration (that is, the inclusion of a focus question on the inside cover). I’ve thought about this for quite some time. I feel that the question, which asks “what would you bring if you and your family had to leave your home due to a hurricane or a tornado?”, allows the singer to process the plight of the refugee in the context of a natural disaster, which is not inherently evil. The more mature singer will make the connection between having to leave home due to a natural disaster and having to leave home due to warfare. The question provides a safe foundation for the singer and the ensemble to build their conversation around.

The Director’s Kit will provide suggestions that allow adult, college, and secondary level singers to dig deeper on the subject, if so desired. There will also be suggestions for students at younger levels which will meet the at the appropriate emotional level.

When do you need to know of our ensemble’s interest?

Choirs are asked to declare interest by June 30th

When is the registration deadline? 

All fees are requested by Saturday, July 15th

Question or comment?

My contact form is the best way to get in touch with me about the Lamiya commission.

I am interested in my choir participatingI am interested in supporting this commission projectI have an idea that you might like for your projectI have a question about your commission projectI have another commission ideaOther

Click edit button to change this code.