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Rainbow of Friends: A Trans Ally Project with the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles

SATB, SSAA, TTBB, SAB, 2-part, Unison, SongStyle
A new work to be composed by Michael Bussewitz-Quarm
Difficulty: 2 · Medium Easy
Length: 5-7 mts.

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This project will include…

PDF score
9-month premiere window
Score guarantee


PLEASE NOTE: This Consortium is in collaboration with major commissioner, Knoxville Gay Men’s Chorus. Purpose: The purpose of the choral work will be to support trans youth by drawing from experiences of trans individuals of when they came out to their loved ones. The text will be set from stories from members of the collaborating choir, Trans Chorus of LA, which will be shared with the lyricist, Chantal Sellers and composer, Michael Bussewitz-Quarm. The lyrics will cover stories that share a range of experiences, both those experiences that are challenging, and those experiences that are embracing. It will speak of acceptance in one verse, rejection in another verse, possibly homelessness in another, (these are just general examples of the verses and will fluctuate, based on the stories shared with the lyricist and composer). From these stories, verses will be written. Each choir that sings “HowDid You Feel?” will be creating an aesthetic and empathetic experience for all, as we have all experienced the struggle of acceptance, regardless of gender identity or other characteristics we identify with that make us unique, and beautiful. Special Testimonial Section There will be a powerful section which will be presented as an option for choirs to include. In this section, trans members will have the opportunity to tell their story while the choir “vamps” softly in the background, interjecting “How did you feel?” intermittently. In accordance with Trans Chorus of LA’s mission, the overall tenor of the commissioned work will be positive. It will embrace and celebrate the beauty of the trans spirit. Composer and Commissioner hereby agree as follows: Consortium Commissioners of “How Did You Feel?” a. Consortium commissioners commission Michael Bussewitz-Quarm to write “How Did You Feel?” for their groups, lasting approximately 5-7 minutes. b. For the consortium commissioners, multiple arrangements for will be made for accessibility and reach to all choirs: including SSAA, TTBB, SAB; 2-Part Mixed; 3-Part Treble; Unison; Song Squad c. As with the SATB version (1a), instrumentation will be piano and at the discretion of Composer, also include parts for strings and rhythm section. d. Piece will be determined in collaboration with stories shared by the transgender participants chosen by Trans Chorus of LA. e. Knoxville Gay Men’s Chorus will have the exclusive rights to perform the work during the 2020 Gala Choruses Festival in Minneapolis. Individual Choirs in this consortium will appear on a separate page listed “Joined by: name of choir, city, state, name of director”, appearing on the page along with Trans Chorus of LA bio, composer bio, and lyricist bio Text will be written by lyricist, Chantal Sellers. Statement from Trans Choir of LA: "The Trans Chorus of Los Angeles along with composer Michael Bussewitz-Quarm is entering into a music expression of the Trans-narrative experience through song. We are so excited to enter into this because it has not been seen or heard ever before. These Trans identified voices will show the choral world that is all about the voice and not the gender associated to vocal parts in the past. What is also so amazing this work is in alignment with our mission to collectively change the trans-narrative of victimization to VICTORIOUS! The Trans Chorus of Los Angeles is leading the way in the choral world by being visible, bold and proud! We are a chorus of transgender, gender non-conforming/gender non-binary & intersex Individuals using our voices to bring awareness, understanding, power and VICTORY for the Trans Community. We want every Trans-identified individual to hear and appreciate the lyrics of our signature song, 'YOU HAVE MORE FRIENDS THAN YOU KNOW!'"


in Collaboration with the Trans Choir of Los Angeles, trans composer, Michael Bussewitz-Quarm, and lyricist, Chantal Sellers

About Michael Bussewitz-Quarm

Michael Bussewitz-Quarm has become one of America’s most recent emerging composers, specializing in choral works commissioned by consortiums around social and environmental issues. Newly published by Peermusic Classical and recently awarded a performance in the International Society of Contemporary Music’s New Music Days 2017 in Vancouver, BC, Michael received the finalist-honorable mention distinction for The American Prize in the category of choral music composition, recognizing "My Name is Lamiya: Don’t Call Me ’Refugee’”. Michael’s most recent works include the commissioned work “So it was I”, commissioned by The Esoterics, “Nigra Sum", and The Unarmed Child, presented by Long Island Voices and Sound Symphony under her direction in 2017. She is currently under commission by the Women’s Voices Chorus of Chapel Hill, NC. for “Only Time to Love: Gaaggee Zaag’aa" and The First United Methodist Church of Pittsburgh with Calvary United Methodist Church for the former’s 125th anniversary celebration, for “Awake!”. Michael has recently completed three additional consortiums, one for Women’s and Treble Choirs at the Collegiate and High School levels called "Radium Girl" Commissioning Consortium which will be written to bring attention to women’s and worker’s rights, the commissioning choirs of The Unarmed Child, to be premiered during the 2019-2020 choral season, and the commissioning choirs of Rainbow Choir Consortium, which, along with the major commissioner, the Knoxville Gay Men’s Chorus, has commissioned “How Did You Feel?” in support of transgender youth. The cornerstone work of her catalog, Requiem Dies Magna, was composed with the intention of healing and to honor the first responders and survivors of the 9/11 attacks. It has grown to speak to those who have survived the loss of a loved one. and the complex stages of grief and path to finding peace. Michael’s choral compositions include settings to poems as diverse as those by Eugene Field (“The Duel” of gingham dog and calico cat fame), Robert Frost (“The Pasture” and “The Road Not Taken”) and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (“Daybreak” and “The Rainy Day”). The song “If They Could Speak” for soprano solo and piano marks Michael’s collaboration with contemporary designer and poet Roseanne Pellicane and honors the firefighters who lost their lives at the World Trade Center. Deeply rooted in community, Michael composed “The Silver Swan” in memory of Pfc Joseph Dwyer, a medic from Long Island who lost his battle with PTSD. Originally from Long Island, New York, Michael grew up as a baritone saxophonist and as accompanist and a tenor in the school’s chorus. She attended Ithaca College (BM ’94), for piano performance and music education, and Queen’s College (MM ’99) for music education. Michael is also active in advocating for the transgender community. “It is my fervent wish to spread knowledge and understanding of the transgender community through guest speaking and by simply being present in the lives of the talented musicians and artists surrounding me.”

Other projects by Michael