What a fun 1920's gig at the Centennial celebration of Glencoe Golf Club! It's always a great night with Andrew Blendermann on the keys, nothing can go wrong- even when you replaced a singer who was sick and with less than 24 hour notice sang 30+ songs unrehearsed...which went swimmingly well! It helped that the audience was helping themselves to the open bar... :)
I cannot even handle the excitement with which I am releasing this music video today! So SO excited. I hope you love it as much as I do! So many family/friends have expressed they have shed tears while watching this video...I hope you will shed a happy tear or two as well - I think my 4 year old is fairly stinking adorable, but I am pretty biased! I hope sincerely that this message of how wonderful and beautiful our world is, will make it into your heart and that you will feel compelled to do something kind today as a result! Kindness is free! Love everyone around you! Our time is short & precious. :) Enjoy! Sincerely Yours,
Rachel & Ella
Now more than ever, with all the hate in the world...we need to teach our children correct principles of love, inclusivity, and equality. I strive to do this as much as I can, through our music we share together.
I want to highlight this line: "The colors on the rainbow are so pretty in the sky, are also on the faces, of people walkin' by, I see friends shakin' hands sayin' "How do you do?" They're really sayin' "I love you".
My 4 year old daughter Ella and I have had such a fun time making this recording together. My arrangement is loosely based on "IZ"'s original mashup of Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World.
I added some Rainbow Connection and created this sweet little duet with my girl. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I have. I can't wait to perhaps make a a little music video with her on this someday soon!
Hope you'll enjoy my arrangement of"Were You There?" with it's focus on the resurrection in the fourth verse, it's so meaningful, especially around Easter-time.
I hope you'll enjoy my solo acappella rendition of "He Never Said a Mumbalin' Word".
I find this song to be a profound reflection on Good Friday today, in preparation for Easter. Good Friday always reminds me of Judy.
I am dedicating this arrangement to the memory of Judy Cope. I would like to share the story of our connection to this piece, and how it brought us together in our shared belief in Jesus Christ. Her name is now engraved as a footnote on each piece of music, and also on the voice/piano version of this arrangement.
Judy was a powerful advocate for women in the arts. Judy was a light and a guide to many artists, in her previous role as the executive director of The Sorel Organization. She encouraged me to be an excellent mother and an excellent performer. She firmly believed women should not have to choose one or the other. It is because of her that I initiated the Sparrow Songs project and finally brought it into being around the time of Good Friday 2015.
Judy and I met at my Carnegie Hall Debut in 2014. She was in the audience, I believe to show support for the fabulous and lovely pianist Anna Shelest. I ended the first half of the program singing this arrangement, followed by crowd-pleaser "Girl in 14G". Then the finale of the concert featured my performance of the Bell Song. It was truly an unforgettable event for me.
At the conclusion of the performance, Judy sought me out, complimented my program, and requested a copy of my arrangement of "He Never Said a Mumbalin' Word". Sheepishly I admitted that my arrangements were just swimming around in my head. I had just been too busy to get them engraved - and I knew that God wanted me to do so, and as soon as I did it- she would be the first to know!
A few months later, because of my interaction with Judy, I engraved the first one of my acappella arrangements; "He Never Said a Mumbalin' Word" (the below arrangement) and sent it to her for her personal use. In our subsequent discourses back and forth, she shared with me how much this meant to her - in this screenshot of a past email below, I've circled & underlined the most relevant passages to her support of me, and also her connection to this piece:
She was extremely supportive of the Melodious Mamas "What are You Expecting?" Concert I produced in 2016 with 5 pregnant performers, when I was on the brink of Motherhood... our concert would not have been possible without the sponsorship by The Sorel Organization. She attended our concert and told me how fabulous it was, and how much she wanted to support future projects.
Our last interaction was in March of 2019. We had plans to meet to discuss some new ideas when I was in NYC competing in the Lotte Lenya competition. Unfortunately she felt ill and had to cancel our meeting. She passed away a few months later at 60 just years old, after her brave battle with brain cancer. Here is a link to her obituary. What a wonderful woman and her enthusiasm for my sacred solo songs was unmatched.
Rest in peace Judy! This one's for you.
Ella and I are having a blast... her first professional recording studio experience, at 4 years old! She recorded the sweetest Christian song: "When I have to choose" for Larry Beebe... and I can't wait to post it! So sweet! She also sang with me a little duet - "Feed the Birds" and we laid down a track to practice our Rainbow Medley, and will record that one really soon as well. It has been SO much fun to work on recording these sweet songs with my daughter. Her sweet little voice is just adorable. Here's the youtube video we did before, (which we did for Scott's Surgery Virtual Benefit concert) as a teaser of something MUCH better yet to come!
This is so exciting! This past week I was able to record the acappella versions of my Sparrow Songs arrangements in my pal Larry Beebe's studio! Here he is hard at work, editing/mastering and putting the final touches on each track! He's the best. Enjoy the playlist of solo arrangements. Their counterparts- the voice/piano arrangements are next! Hopefully really soon - once I'm fully vaccinated, we can begin recording those as well! YAY!
Happy New Year Everyone! I could not think of a more fitting New Year's text, than this poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson. Across Europe, there's quite the tradition of church bells tolling/bringing in the New Year.... Tennyson wrote an incredibly poignant poem on the subject. This text is more pertinent this year, than perhaps ever before.
We are so grateful for the continued love and prayers we have felt from all of our friends as little Scotty has been recovering. The GoFundMe has been updated, (not needing any further donations of course - as we have now received nearly $20K...we are so blessed and it's only up for informational purposes). We have been SO impressed with his recovery and are constantly counting our blessings. He is doing very well.
We are looking forward with light, hope and excitement to what 2021 has to offer, and are so grateful (truly) to what 2020 has taught us. Blessings to each of our dear friends and wonderful strangers who helped us on our path to where we are now. Thank you... this will conclude the virtual benefit (turned into gratitude) concert.
Please enjoy my arrangement based off of his words, and the Crawford Gate's hymn "Ring Out Wild Bells":
(Excerpt from: In Memoriam; Alfred Lord Tennyson)
Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Ring out the grief that saps the mind
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.
Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.
(view FULL poem, which is AWESOME and SO applicable to this year here: https://poets.org/poem/memoriam-ring-out-wild-bells
I was so blessed to be able to safely record in Highland Park Community House's gorgeous ballroom. It wasn't without it's challenges though, to have to be so far apart. The ballroom has a (wonderful!) acoustic, but with the reverb we found it difficult while recording this, to be at the same spritely tempo I really want this piece to clip at (when there is a lag, and across a large space like that- it's easy to react off of someone's reverb, instead of their actual sound.) ...So! Anyway, while it's not quite the tempo I would like for this arrangement-- it's still worth it to me to share, due to the amazing text and sentiment and the celebration of what's to come! :) I have thoroughly enjoyed working on these arrangements and can't wait until they are all "live" someday soon and compiled according to my hopes! Thank you Andrew Blendermann for being such an awesome pianist, as per usual!
I just love this sweet girl of mine! :) Merry Christmas everyone!
Scott's Virtual Gratitude Concert Continues with three songs reflecting about Mary:
1. Mary's Lullaby:
One of my most cherished memories was holding my baby boy last year, (2019) he was 6 weeks old, and singing this song to him as if he was the baby Jesus for a Christmas program at my church. What a special song and such an interesting perspective to ponder on what Mary must have been thinking while holding her baby.
2. Mary Did You Know?
Quia Respexit from Bach's Magnificat:
This text is taken from Luke 1: "For he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: behold, for from this time, may I be called blessed."
"Becoming a mother changed me. I have more love, passion, and fulfillment in life; which in turn, enriches my artistry. Please join me in normalizing motherhood within the performing artist's culture."
- Rachel Sparrow
Rachel Sparrow is a professional singer, musician,(violin, piano, ukulele) actor, teacher, arranger, writer, and most importantly: a wife and a mommy of two littles. She loves to help parents make everyday life musical with their kids as well as share backstage stories, and performance experiences here. She earned her Master's degree in Voice Performance from Northwestern University, and also holds two Bachelor's degrees in Voice, and Music Education (certified to teach k-12 vocal & instrumental music) from Idaho State University. She is also a certified Music Together Director (music class for birth-5 yrs). See about Rachel.
"Think Outside Your Box" means 3 things:
1. Be Selfless - think beyond your own "box". (and for singers, there's more to life than your voice box!) You're capable of helping and healing others.
2. Feel Empowered to bust out of the proverbial
"box" made of societally-induced-parameters.
3. Be Bold. Innovate. Stretch yourself. You can do anything if you set your mind to it.