“When RSVP performs, their joy is contagious! It is obvious that this is a group of people who love to make music together and who love their community.”
RSVP began as a dream, as many good ideas seem to do, but this was an actual dream that came to me one night in the mid 1990’s. I had been thinking for quite some time about how my life as a musician could be a life of more value in the world but I didn’t have any great ideas - and then there was this dream. I dreamt that an old college friend of mine was showing me a map of the world and explaining how I needed to create a choir that would feed it. That was basically it.
When I awoke, I knew that a “Food Choir” was something I needed to create. I sat upright in bed, on fire with an unformed idea. I didn’t even know what a “Food Choir” would be but I felt an urgency to figure it out. As my mind whirled, it came to me that I could create a choir dedicated to feeding people spiritually, physically and emotionally. Dedicated to it. That was the key.
I have always been in love with the concept of reconciliation, bringing people together and breaking down the barriers between people. The basic definition of reconciliation is to restore to friendship or harmony, so the first idea was Reconciliation Singers, perfect! Still, I felt strongly that Voices of Peace would convey the meaning as well.
It wasn’t until I put the two together that I realized the name RSVP would imply to all who heard the choir to respond to this concept that, at our best, we should work to reconcile differences between people, setting aside the things that keep us from loving and helping one another. Remember, I was still sitting up in bed on a Saturday morning, filled with excitement at what this could be.
The wheels in my mind kept spinning. I wanted to create a choir whose music would bring people together by highlighting the good things that are happening all around us. Pairing those good causes with music that would bring insight to their work was the next idea. Finding great musicians was a priority so the choir wouldn’t be limited by any music.
I adore the nuances of small ensemble music so that was the direction. The music could be any type - jazz, classical, renaissance, pop, inspiring, funny or heart wrenching. It was all meant to bring people together around good. I wasn’t concerned about the name but I began to think about what to call this choir.
It took four years to begin. We relied on borrowed music and donated rehearsal and concert spaces to get started. Amazing musicians realized that this was a way for them to use their music to give back to the community. Community members got behind the choir once they heard us and found out that we were going to donate every penny we raised at our concerts to wonderful, uplifting causes. Soon we had donors, board members and an audience.
Innumerable people have been “fed” by our choir and the numbers keep growing. I am grateful that I was given this dream and that so many have seen value in the idea. It began with one person but over the years hundreds have made it come true.
Founding Artistic Director
Reconciliation Singers Voices of Peace