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Lara Downes creates refreshingly imaginative video to encourage voting / The Rehearsal Studio

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This past Tuesday was Voter Registration Day, singled out by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to recognize the need to "protect our health and our civil liberties at the same time, including our fundamental right to vote." To this end the ACLU created a Web page with separate hyperlinks for each of the fifty states, providing information about the different ways in which a vote may be safely cast. To encourage visiting that Web page, pianist Lara Downes created a video of a performance of "Take Care of This House."

Members of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus singing from the windows of the White House (courtesy of Crossover Media)

In this video each performer appears in a window of the White House. First we encounter Downes playing in a window with cellist Yo-Yo Ma at the next window. Other instrumentalists include guitarist Conor Padmanabhan and another cellist, Ifetayo Ali-Landing. There is also an impressive number of contributing vocalists with line-by-line accounts taken by Thomas Hampson, Isabel Leonard, Ailyn Pérez, Lawrence Brownlee, Anthony Ross Costanzo, Julia Bullock, and J'Nai Bridges. Finally, all the windows are filled by the members of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, after which Judy Collins provides a spoken epilog on why this musical journey was so important.

The resulting video makes for a refreshingly imaginative approach to media, but what matters the most is that we all react to the message behind the media!

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