The 2020 National Convention choir consists of Federationists from all over the country, representing many different backgrounds and interests. All members share a passion for music and a desire to continually prove that blindness cannot hold us back.
With the help of Braille music, Zoom, recording software, and some fabulous audio editing, we were able to come together virtually, uniting our voices across great distances, to prove that the power of love, hope, and determination can break through any barriers.
The 2020 National Convention choir sang three songs during this year's general sessions: "Live the Life You Want," "Make Them Hear You," and "This Is Me."
Special thanks to the following members who coordinated the choir:
Recording Engineer: Tom Page
Director: Rachel Grider
Assistants: Leslie Hamric and Kyle Woodruff
Thank you to the Performing Arts Division for sponsoring the choir and helping financially with the music transcription.
"Live The Life You Want"
Music and Lyrics by J. P. Williams and James Brown
"Make Them Hear You"
(From Ragtime, The Musical)
Music by Stephen Flaherty
Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
Arranged by Jeff Funk
Accompaniment by London Vocal Academy
Cello by Leslie Hamric
"This Is Me"
(From The Greatest Showman)
Words and Music by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
Arranged by Mac Huff
Accompaniment by Hal Leonard Choral
Trumpet by Chela Robles
Vocal Solos (In Order of Appearance) by Jessica Stover, Jasmine Eiland, and Kyra Sweeney
Jamie Allison, South Carolina
Jamie is clogging onstage in between two other members of her team, the Real Gems.
Shelley Alongi, Texas
Shelley and the First Christian Church are ready to start playing the piano for the church service.
ReNae Anderson, Colorado
Renae is walking with her seeing eye dog, Eve, along her street in the mountains of Colorado.
Liliya Asadullina, Pennsylvania
Liliya is at a shooting range holding a pistol and getting ready to shoot at a person made out of paper.
Bre Brown Ausbun, Louisiana
Bre is posing with her long white cane.
Patty Ann Behr, Maryland
Patty is standing proudly with her white cane, practicing a praise song for Sunday worship.
Brittany Berk, Missouri
Brittany is striking a pose with arms outstretched in front of a giant shuttlecock sculpture.
Acer Bowman-Tomlinson, Michigan
Acer is jamming on electronic drums with a shelf of Braille books and a guitar close by.
Brittney Brim, California
Brittney is from California.
Debi Chatfield, Arizona
Debi is hiking on South Mountain in the Arizona Desert.
Dacia Cole, Missouri
Dacia is sitting with a Braille Sens on her lap, reading song lyrics.
Andrew Del Castillo, California
Andrew and his wife are standing in the driveway having just returned from church. They are both holding canes.
Jasmine Eiland, Washington
Jasmine is riding her purple and pink miniature mountain bike on a trail.
Barbie Elliott, Utah
Barbie is climbing up a ropes course.
Valerie Frink, New Jersey
Valerie is smiling with a mask ready.
Cullen Gallagher, Massachusetts
Cullen is from Massachusetts.
Rubii Ineko Gary, Florida
Rubii is sitting down with a blue Focus 14 Braille Display on her lap.
Rachel Grider, California
Rachel is resting after a long hike in Yosemite with seeing eye dog Demi.
Dorothy Griffin, Georgia
Dorothy is smiling, standing in front of a group of trees, holding up a stripe bass fish in her right hand while giving a thumbs up.
Leslie Hamric, Illinois
Leslie is playing the cello.
Jana Jackson, Tennessee
Jana is from Tennessee.
Kayleigh Joiner, Texas
Kayleigh is standing on the top deck of a cruise ship with her cane.
Becky Keller, Virginia
Becky is with two other women, wearing learning shades and confidently using their long white canes.
Brooklyn Kelly, California
Brooklyn is from California.
Jeanette Kutash, Massachusetts
Jeanette is sitting at the piano with her right hand on the top of the piano looking at some Braille music.
Maura Kutnyak, New York
Maura is suspended ten feet off the ground, supported by a yellow gold fabric; she is doing a split and holding her cane with pride.
Veronica Martinez, California
Veronica is from California.
Kira McCall, Illinois
Kira is wearing a black t-shirt and relaxing in a pink chair.
Jeanine Mooers, Nevada
Jeanine is singing and playing keyboard in a band called the Note-Ables, which consists mainly of members with disabilities.
Cerridwyn Nordstrom, Colorado
Cerridwyn is wearing her graduation cap with her guide dog.
Chris Nusbaum, Maryland
Chris is from Maryland.
Tom Page, Kansas
Tom is in a tie and sunglasses holding a white cane.
Mark Riccobono, Maryland
NFB President Mark A. Riccobono is driving an accessible car.
David Rissling-Venit, Alabama
David is sitting at the keyboard poised to play.
Chela Robles, California
Chela is holding her pocket trumpet, playing with its bell held high in front of a red brick wall.
John Scroggs, Virginia
John is from Virginia.
Katelyn Siple, Maryland
Katelyn is standing on the edge of a river holding her cane after walking there.
Pauline Smith, Michigan
Pauline is from Michigan.
Deborah Kent Stein, Illinois
Deborah is exploring a life-sized sculpture of a foal at an outdoor park in Louisville, Kentucky.
Jessica Stover, Ohio
Jessica is playing her saxophone at a wine bar.
Kyra Sweeney, Massachusetts
Kyra is running on the beach next to the ocean. Another woman with brown hair is running behind her.
Tiffany Taylor, California
Tiffany is holding a pink cane atop rocks next to a rushing waterfall in Iceland.
Cierra Therriot, Georgia
Cierra is standing in a ballet position at the bar.
Haley Thurston, Illinois
Haley is from Illinois.
Tarren Van Ettinger, Iowa
Tarren is sitting on a sofa in a living room playing a small MIDI keyboard.
Kyle Woodruff, Utah
Kyle is from Utah.