Tag Archives: foster children

Artist exhibit: Malcolm Cross and AJ Patterson perform “Shine”


Rehearsal for The Possibility Project's "Stop Requested". Photo: Agnes May Photography.

Rehearsal for The Possibility Project’s “Stop Requested”. Photo: Agnes May Photography.

Listen to a special performance of “Shine” just for The Lamp Project:

Adreanna Patterson’s song, “Shine,” was created under no ordinary circumstances.  The song was composed for an original musical written and performed by a cast of foster care youth.  The teens write their own stories, yet they perform each others’ instead of just sticking to their own. These shows are put on by The Possibility Project, a national non-profit dedicated to empowering youth to improve their lives and communities though preforming arts and community action.

Adreanna, who goes by AJ, first heard about The Possibility Project from her friend Jazzy, a graduate of the program. She was initially skeptical. “At first I didn’t want to do it,” she says, “because you have to do all these weird things, like act like a chicken and dance, and I was so shy back then.” Finally Adrienne joined the program, where she met the musical’s director, professional composer and musician Malcolm Cross, and her talent as a musician began to blossom.

AJ and Malcolm wrote “Shine” for her character, Sunny, a young woman who finally breaks free of an abusive relationship. Although Adreanna has never been in an abusive relationship herself, her character’s emotions are not unfamiliar to her. “I can relate to learning how to get the courage to leave a situation,” she says. “For me, being in foster care, I have been in homes that were just horrible, and I had to learn to get the courage to say, this isn’t right, I have to move out.”  The connection AJ feels to her song is apparent in the natural beauty and power her voice commands over the melody and lyrics.

Next year, Adreanna will graduate from high school with plans to attend college. She has her heart set on the Berklee School of Music for her final two years of college.  Nine out of ten foster care youth who enroll in The Possibility Project go on to graduate high school and later enroll in college. This statistic, however, is not representative of their peer group: on average, only fifty percent of youths raised in foster care nationally graduate high school. Only six percent go on to graduate from a two-year college or higher.

Rehearsal for The Possibility Project's "Stop Requested". Photo: Agnes May Photography.

Composer Malcolm Cross and cast members in rehearsal for The Possibility Project’s “Stop Requested”. Photo: Agnes May Photography.

Malcolm says he was delighted to be able to work with Adreanna. He praises her naturally beautiful voice and raw talent, which he helped mold over time into the sophisticated and powerful voice you hear in the “Shine” recording. “I’d never had anyone there to support me,” AJ says of Malcolm. “I’d never had voice lessons or taken any classes.”

Thanks to the generosity of a great artist and a wonderful organization—and of course, the perseverance and courage of a strong young lady—that’s all changed.

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Jeremy Simoneaux | production mixer
Frank Galvan | production sound supervisor
Jeremy Scott Olsen | voice over
Jeremy Scott Olsen | sound editor / re-recording mixer

Paula Minardi | associate producer
Kimrey Nicholson | producer

Erick Iniguez | co-coordinating producer
Ryan Metcalf | co-coordinating producer
Casey Fowler | supervising producer
Jeremy Scott Olsen | executive producer

thanks to…
Rosanne Ziering | for use of her music room
Toru Fujisaki | Malcolm’s hair (Taka Salon)

Written and performed by
Adreanna Patterson (vocals) and Malcolm Cross (piano)
Copyright 2012 by The Possibility Project

“Lamp Project Theme 2011″
Written and produced by
Nathan Schafer
copyright 2011 by Nathan Schafer

With great appreciation for our all-volunteer crew for their talent, dedication, professionalism and time

Copyright 2013 by The Lamp Project
All rights reserved