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2022 SWAN SONGS SERENADE To Return With Spectacular In-Person Gala

This year's gala will feature a performance by Bob Schneider, and Celeste and Adrian Quesada will serve as the Event Chairs.

2022 SWAN SONGS SERENADE To Return With Spectacular In-Person Gala

Austin-area music nonprofit Swan Songs today announces the 2022 Swan Songs Serenade, the organization's annual benefit, which will be held at Four Seasons Hotel Austin, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022. 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 feature a performance by Bob Schneider, and Celeste and Adrian Quesada will serve as the Event Chairs. Additionally, Swan Songs announces their new Executive Director Shannon Moody, who will be planning the Serenade with Swan Songs Founder & CEO Christine Albert, who is actively working on a model for other communities to bring Swan Songs' programs to their region.

To provide essential support to Swan Songs, sponsorships for the Swan Songs Serenade are available at the $2,500, $5,000, $10,000, $15,000 and $25,000 levels. Funds raised during the Serenade support Swan Songs' important work in the community. More details about Serenade tickets, silent and live auctions, and event sponsorships will be announced soon. More information can be found at www.swansongs.org. 

"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."

"I have been asked dozens of times through the years, 'how do I bring Swan Songs to my community?" said Christine Albert. "I am so passionate about our mission that I felt it was time to have an answer, so we have been working for two years to thoughtfully and carefully create a model that will enable like-minded individuals to do just that. There is more work to be done before we 'open the gate' but soon Austin will become a shining example of the power of music at the end of life, to inspire others as we expand the Swan Songs community."

As the organization shifts to a national focus, Shannon Moody will support the organization locally and brings extensive nonprofit leadership experience. 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.
"We are honored to serve as the Event Chairs for the Swan Songs Serenade," said Celeste and Adrian Quesada. "If the last couple of years taught us one thing, it was to see and acknowledge what truly matters. We're honored to serve as co-chairs for an evening event that will directly impact people's life experience with the power of music and human connection."

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 103-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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