HISTORY OF SONGRISE & NEW YEAR’S EVE EVENTS
On December 30, 1993, Laurel Murphy flew to San Francisco to participate in Bobby McFerrin’s “Sing For Your Life”, a 24 hour improvised piece created at Grace Cathedral. So impressed by the experience, she returned to Vancouver, intent on sharing the magic of this musical form with her own city. On New Year’s Eve, 1995, SongRise was born–a product of the talent and inspiration of more than 200 singers, conductors and volunteers and 1200 audience members.
Using the voices of singers and audience members as their only instruments, guest conductors composed a five-hour continuous vocal soundscape–layering ethereal harmonies over primal rhythms; weaving jazz and blues into traditional choral chants. The result was a musically and spiritually uplifting New Year’s experience, unlike any other event in Canada. SongRise was so enthusiastically received that a special Millennial Celebration was mounted for New Year’s Eve 1999. Produced by Laurel Murphy, SongRise 1995 and 1999 events featured Rhiannon, Joey Blake (both founding member of Bobby McFerrin’s “Voicestra”), Ann Mortifee, Sal Ferreras, Jon Washburn, Dee Daniels, Lovie Eli, Kate Hammett-Vaughan, Coco Love Acorn, Pepe Danza, Dave Hatfield, Shari Ulrich, Laurel Murphy and the 150 member SongRise Choir.