While most people tweet about being terrified when “accidentally” driving down Skid Row in Los Angeles, my good friend Leeav Sofer had no problem turning down the well-known street one sunny fall afternoon while I was riding with him. As we drove through, Leeav rambled off information about each center around the neighborhood. “This center does a lot of work, even though that one gets more donations from celebrities and stuff,” he shared. When I asked Leeav what he thought about the city’s recent realization that homelessness was an epidemic, he replied, “Yeah, it’s been an epidemic for about 20 years. Whatever they do will probably just sweep the problem under the rug.”
Leeav often talks about the project he started through the Colburn School Of Music, a choir directed towards homeless and low-income people of Los Angeles. Recently, he mentioned that the choir doesn’t have much funding and needs to eventually get some audio equipment/other things to help with its growth. Interested, I started thinking about how I could possibly help and decided to go check out the choir for myself.
The shelter it usually meets at was closed on Columbus Day, so we all gathered in the cafeteria of a low-income apartment complex. No one had their lyric sheets, due to them being in the shelter, so Leeav focused the rehearsal on memorizing lines. Although it was a tedious process, I was amazed at how focused everyone was at learning the music. Linda, the alto next to me, patiently taught me the harmonies to a song I’d never heard before.
Once we were done, many hugs were shared, everyone proud of getting the songs (mostly) down! As we filed out, I couldn’t believe some people were leaving without a home to go to. This choir was true therapy for them.
When I got home, I reached out on Facebook to anyone I thought would help. Barry Rudolph, a writer for Mix Magazine and a seasoned engineer, responded almost immediately. He reached out to CAD Audio, and about two weeks later, there were two brand new condensers and dynamic microphones at my doorstep!!! I am so thankful that this project is gaining traction in the audio world. With microphones, and eventually a PA system, the group will be able to perform in all different places. I am excited to see what happens with this choir of wonderful people. They are a true example of how music can change lives for the better.