Vancouver-based vocalist, pianist, and songwriter Robyn McCorquodale is among those around the world who was “rocked by the mass shooting and loss of 20 first-graders and six educators. An unimaginable assault on beautiful human life,” she said.
In response, she has written and recorded a single, “Garden of Angels,” that is available as a digital download from iTunes and CD Baby. Proceeds from the song’s sale will be donated to Sandy Hook Promise.
Ms McCorquodale was on a cruise ship on 12/14. She was working on a performance contract, cruising Mexico and Hawaii.
“Unspoken rule #1 is that in this environment, where guests have paid thousands of dollars to vacation, celebrate and get away from life, you never talk religion, politics, news, anything controversial and certainly not anything as disturbing as the Sandy Hook shooting,” Ms McCorquodale posted on her website as part of the story behind her song.
“So, by day, I stayed in my cabin and watched on TV the horror of events unfold, and by night, was out entertaining guests, as if nothing had happened, as we all just carried along on our ship vacation in paradise,” her story continued.
The jazz musician said via e-mail she was “incredibly moved by the resilience and courageous spirit shown by the local community during a time of great pain, including from family members themselves. With an additional outpouring, acts of kindness from the international community, I saw hope amidst the sickness and insanity, and that one flame of humanity was burning strong in Newtown and beyond.”
While still working on the cruise ship, Ms McCorquodale would return to the piano in the middle of the night, finding “a quiet place where I began to write my song.” It was, she wrote, her own catharsis.
Ms McCorquodale describes “Garden of Angels” as an anthem honoring the victims, residents, and surrounding community of Sandy Hook. It is also, she says, “a call to action for all humanity.”
Sandy Hook Promise (SHP), the organization Ms McCorquodale has selected as the beneficiary of her song’s proceeds, was created by Newtown residents to honor and support family members who lost loved ones, those wounded, and others in this community impacted by the tragedy, according to its website. The focus of SHP continues to be working through education to reduce the causes of gun violence; providing immediate and long-term financial, in-kind, and other aid, on request, to families impacted; and to identify and support other nonprofit organizations that can provide best in class services, treatment, and support to help the community.
SHP recently launched the Parent Together program, with tools to provide communities with ways of reducing isolation and early intervention for mental health issues.
“We together can make a contribution to a hard working charity organization whose spirit is not broken,” said Ms McCorquodale. “Sandy Hook Promise is doing meaningful work in healing its community and effecting positive change for a safer future.”
Ms McCorquodale’s website, www.RobynSong.com, offers visitors the opportunity to read the song’s lyrics, listen to Ms McCorquodale perform the song, watch the music video for “Garden of Angels,” and shares links to each of the sites selling the song.