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2022 SWAN SONGS SERENADE Featuring Bob Schneider Sells Out

Event updates and opportunities to support the whole year through announced.

2022 SWAN SONGS SERENADE Featuring Bob Schneider Sells Out

Swan Songs, Austin music nonprofit, announces that tickets are sold out for the 2022 Swan Songs Serenade, the organization's annual benefit, which will be held at Four Seasons Hotel Austin on Sunday Oct. 23.

The community can still support the organization through the whole year by donating to the nonprofit online, providing additional silent auction items, and joining its Cygnature Circle program. After two years of virtual events, the Serenade returns to being in-person where donors and supporters will gather in support of Swan Songs' mission to fulfill musical last wishes. This year's gala will be hosted by Laurie Gallardo and Judy Maggio, and will feature a performance by seven-time Austin Music Awards Musician of the Year Bob Schneider. Local musician Darden Smith will also perform a song of deep significance during the program. Celeste and Adrian Quesada are serving as this year's Event Chairs, bringing together a sellar group of event committee members including Marji & Craig Calvert, Judy Cantilo, Chella Cardona, Stacie Cline, Amanda Garcia Davenport, Roger Gordon, Tara Elgin Holley, Liz Land, Blanca Leahy, Leigh Anne Lewis, Amy Lombardi, Erika Pinktipps, Adrian Quesada, Celeste Quesada, Claire Reinhold, Libby Rose, Tracey Sharples and Marc Sugars. Funds raised during the Serenade support Swan Songs' important work in the community. More information can be found at www.swansongs.org.

"Bob Schneider has not only agreed to perform for the 2022 Swan Songs Serenade but in 2017 Bob and band member Oliver Steck fulfilled a musical last wish and sang for a devoted fan in her back yard during the last weeks of her life," said Christine Albert, Swan Songs Founder & CEO. "Continuing his support of Swan Songs, as an avid visual artist as well as musician, Bob gave permission to use his art piece 'Marlboro Country' as the image for this year's Serenade, as well as offered a wonderful package for our auction, the 'Bob Schneider - Art, Words & Music' package, which includes a signed print of Marlboro Country, assorted poetry and music and a table for four at a Saxon Pub 'Lonelyland' show."

The auction is always one of the most exciting parts of the Serenade and although the event is sold out, patrons can still support Swan Songs by donating items to the 2022 Swan Songs Serenade auction. Other items donated to date include a sculpture by renowned artist Pepo Toledo, two platinum badges to SXSW 2023, two tickets to the 65th GRAMMY Awards in Los Angeles on February 5, 2023, two Fender guitars, studio time with Adrian Quesada (Black Pumas), a one year subscription to Vinyl Me, a VIP package to Austin FC 2023 season, six tickets to a UT 2023 home game in a private suite, a Rodeo Austin VIP package, and more.

In addition to Bob Schneider, the Serenade has added Darden Smith to the evening.

"Darden wrote a song with one of our recipients a few years ago," said Albert. "Tom Garey, a U.S. Air Force veteran, had service-connected ALS and Darden used the skills and experience he developed in his work with the nonprofit he co-founded, SongwritingWith:Soldiers, to write with Tom - who was communicating with eye-gaze technology and a computer screen. Tom was completely paralyzed, trached and on a ventilator at this point, and unable to speak. The song they wrote is beautiful and Tom passed away recently after living six years with the disease. His wife and son will be in the audience so it will be very special for us."

Swan Songs recently announced their new Executive Director Shannon Moody, who has been planning the Serenade with Swan Songs founder & CEO Christine Albert, who is actively working on a model for other communities around the country to bring Swan Songs' programs to their region. They are also opening up new ways to support the organization for couples/individuals ($1000) and companies ($1500) by joining its "Cygnature Circle" annual sustained giving program where members are invited to two intimate music events per year. Past performers include Ray Benson, Eliza Gilkyson, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Tish Hinojosa, and Beat Root Revival.

"This is a fun and meaningful way to help create financial stability for Swan Songs, while networking with fellow philanthropic music lovers," said Shannon Moody, Executive Director. "You can also support Swan Songs and Austin musicians by pledging an amount of your choice as a 'Monthly Tip Jar' gift."

"After two years of virtual Swan Songs Serenades, it is a joy to be planning this in-person event, especially alongside our new Executive Director, Shannon Moody," said Christine Albert. "Shannon brings a depth of nonprofit leadership experience that will ensure Swan Songs continues to thrive, connecting Austin musicians with music lovers nearing the end of life to create meaning and comfort in their final days. We are fortunate to have her passion, community relationships, and strategic leadership."

As the organization shifts to a national focus, Shannon Moody will support the organization locally. Most recently she led efforts to bring the Jeremiah Program to Austin and served as Executive Director for 11 years. She has worked in development positions with beloved Austin organizations including Austin Film Society and SafePlace.

"I am honored to join this incredible organization during this pivotal time, and look forward to growing our impact on the Central Texas community," said Shannon Moody. "The Serenade directly supports our mission to celebrate the end of life through the gift of music and we are thrilled to be back together during such an important year for Swan Songs."

Swan Songs also announces two new event co-chairs for this year's gala, Austin's own Celeste and Adrian Quesada. The Quesadas have been community activists and Austin music champions for decades and with a keen awareness that no major urban city can thrive without an active nonprofit ecosystem, they are thrilled to work alongside Swan Songs.

"I know everybody believes in the power of music, without sounding too sappy, but it's why we're all here at the end of the day - because we believe in what the mission of Swan Songs is and the power of what music can do, all the way through life, up until these final stages," said Adrian Quesada. "I truly appreciate the commitment to this event and this mission."

Swan Songs' core mission is to fulfill musical last wishes by organizing private concerts for individuals with a terminal illness or who are nearing the end of life. At no cost to the family or facility, the recipient requests a favorite style of music or a specific local musician to perform for them at home or a care facility. Committed to supporting musicians in the community, Swan Songs compensates hundreds of artists each year.

Since 2005, the organization has organized and executed over 1,400 personalized, free concerts for recipients from nine-months-old to 107-years-old. Swan Songs has worked with dozens of regional hospices and care facilities in a 10-county area, in addition to private homes. Swan Songs has grown steadily and thoughtfully since its formal inception in 2005. The concert number has grown from three in 2006 to 311 facilitated in 2019, with a total of 1424 concerts to date.

Swan Songs was officially established in 2005 as an Austin, Texas-based 501(c)(3) organization, although the concept was born in the early '90s when Austin musician Christine Albert (Swan Songs Founder & CEO) was asked to sing for a dying fan. The idea to bring music directly to someone facing the end of life resonated with Austin psychotherapist Gaea Logan (Swan Songs co-founder), and the two women began informally organizing the bedside concerts. The organization is committed to utilizing professional musicians whose expertise and experience are central to the success of the program. They recognize the importance of compensating these artists, therefore a nonprofit was created to raise the necessary funds to offer an honorarium, with no financial obligation on the part of the recipient, their family or the healthcare facility. The name Swan Songs was chosen, inspired in part by John Swann - the terminally ill man Christine first sang for in 1992.

Swan Songs has worked with dozens of regional hospices and care facilities and compensated over 500 musicians through the years. As the program evolved, it became apparent that there was a more compelling desire to request a certain style of music than a specific artist, although some regional artists have been requested by name (Guy Forsyth, Eliza Gilkyson, Ruthie Foster, Jimmy LaFave, Bob Schneider, Ray Benson, Carolyn Wonderland, Marcia Ball, The Flatlanders and more).

Swan Songs works diligently to match the style of music requested with the appropriate musician(s). The variety of requests over the years reflects how deep an individual's connection with music can be - based on a lifetime of memories, culture, heritage and geography. Whatever connects the recipient to those memories, their family, their joy - that is what Swan Songs brings.



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