First Listen: The Wellsongs Project
Featuring Kate Baldwin, Ethan Slater, More
The 16-song collection features an all-star roster of Broadway talent performing songs inspired by children with special needs.
Get an exclusive first listen below to the entire The Wellsongs Project album, from producer Michael A. Pizzi and Broadway Records, below. The release was born from Pizzi's work as an occupational therapist with children with special needs and serves to give those children and their families a voice.
“Those children and families are the heroes among us,” said Pizzi. “I brought composers with me to interview these children and their families, then each composer would write a song for and about each child. The project eventually took on a life of its own as The Wellsongs Project, creating awareness that disability does not mean inability.”
The album features a Broadway star-studded cast including Kate Baldwin, Christine Andreas, Lisa Howard, Ethan Slater, Jason Gotay, Margo Seibert, Allie Trimm, Lisa Brescia, Bradley Gibson, Halle Hunt, Marissa McGowan, Michael Mendez, Will Reynolds, and Vishal Vaidya. Songwriters include Brett Boles, Ben Boecker, Jahn Sood, Nicky Phillips, Rick Bassett, Grace Goodrich, Jeff Saver and Amanda Yesnowitz, Jenna Pasquale, and Ben Bonnema.
Pre-orders for the CD of The Wellsongs Project are available on BroadwayRecords.com and other major music retailers ahead of a March 5 release. The digital album is now available.
The Wellsong Project
A hero is defined as a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. Through my 39 years of being an occupational therapist I have had the privilege of working with some amazing heroes, but none more so than when I created The Wellsongs Project through the not-for-profit Touching Humanity (www.touchinghumanityinc.org). I created Touching Humanity when between theatre gigs in 2007 (I became an Equity actor in 2010). It combined the two careers I love, "occupational therapy and the performing arts" and it gave me a different and meaningful purpose in life. We started by creating performing arts classes for children with special needs, where in just 6 sessions, the children made enormous gains in self-esteem, confidence, motor, social and emotional skills.
The Wellsongs Project sprang from my work with these children with special needs and their families. Those children and families are the Heroes among us. The process is simple: I search for families interested in being a part of the project, we schedule a time together, we visit, interview and write a song for the child and family.
The process started that simply, however, the project eventually took on a life of its own. The children and families deserved more than that and the children and families deserved to be honored in a greater way. All the families hope that increased awareness of their child's ability and not DISability would be recognized by this project, and that their stories would inspire more advocacy.
With each set of Wellsongs, we do the following:
- Send the composed song to the child and family
- Compile the songs and create a concert honoring the children and families
- Create a theatrical event to highlight the joys, struggles, hopes and dreams of the families
This has been and is the privilege of my life, and I hope you enjoy exploring the lives of these children and families and work towards occupational and social justice and advocacy for those with disabilities and who are differently abled.
Should our work inspire you to the extent you wish to help us, any donation or sponsorship of the Project is welcome.Â All donations are tax deductible. You can send a donation via:
- Checks made payable to Touching Humanity, Inc. and mailed to 20 W 64th St. Suite 17L, NY, NY 10023
- By credit card by clicking the donate button on this site
We can also bring the project to your city. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
ALL donations go to The Wellsongs Project programming.
Michael A. Pizzi, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Founder, The Wellsongs Project