Back in April, we asked video makers to help us capture five simultaneous performances of Song for Pittsburgh, a song written by artist Jennifer Nagle Myers for the city and the people of Pittsburgh. Positioned in different neighborhoods across the city including the Central Northside, East Liberty, and Downtown, Song for Pittsburgh will fill the air with coordinated performances by a virtual choir of professional and amateur musicians.
To help capture this unique event, Sprout encouraged folks to break out their cameras and choose one of the performance locations to create a lasting record of a day when ordinary (and not-so-ordinary) Pittsburghers came together to perform a song for their city.
After reviewing all entries, we’re happy to announce the following winners:
First Prize: Full Membership at Pittsburgh Filmmakers goes to…
Alisha Wormsley’s video of Ricardo Iamuuri’s performance in East Liberty.
Second Prize: Basic Membership at Pittsburgh Filmmakers goes to…
George Aivaliotis’s video of Tessa Barber’s performance in Oakland.
Third Prize: Screenie Subscription for movies at Pittsburgh Filmmakers Theaters goes to…
Ivette Spradlin’s video of Dani Lamorte’s performance in the Northside.
Congratuations to all of our winners and a big thank you to everyone who participated!
And for more on the winning video, here’s a personal reflection from Sprout’s own Dave English, who served as site coordinator for Ricardo Iamuuri’s performance in East Liberty.
Late April in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania can dish out a blizzard, a summer sweat, sideways rain, trickling frozen slime, cosmic winds, swamp humidity or most any variety of weather. It was lucky for those involved with Jennifer Nagle Myer’s “Song For Pittsburgh” prthat Sunday April 21st, 2013 provided a sunny and breezy blue sky painted with rippling swirls of cirrus clouds.
It seemed that manmade beauty set out to compete with nature that morning as I entered through the Gothic arches of East Liberty Presbyterian Church’s Cathedral of Hope just before their 11:00am worship. A smiling attendant was waiting there for me with an extension cord, music stand and folding chair for our musician, Ricardo Iamuuri. When Ricardo arrived with documentarian Alisha Wormsley in tow, we began prepping the performance space, sound-checking, and getting in our places for the beginning of Ricardo’s rendition of “Song For Pittsburgh.”
In the context of the Highland and Penn intersection a man sitting on a chair inside of a white PVC cube is a minor spectacle. The foot traffic of the East Liberty business district, the people waiting at the bus stops, folks coming out of the Kelly Strayhorn Theater, the demonstrators asking cars to honk for various causes, and parishioners exiting the church would carry on as usual if not for Ricardo’s smooth and beautiful voice. Alisha’s video does a better job of capturing the reactions of passersby than I can, but as a supplement to the record she created I want to point out the diversity of people who stopped.
That was my big takeaway. Jennifer’s project did something that made a small group of very different people want to stop texting, stop racing off to wherever, and instead read the lyrics to a song about community and listen to some live music in the light of a beautiful day. I was in a great mood the rest of the day and I truly made some new friends because of “Song For Pittsburgh.”
Song for Pittsburgh was supported by a Connect Your City award from The Sprout Fund.