New World Waking Inspired by John Lennon’s Piano 4/10/11

Insignia Presents New World Waking!
A musical journey for peace, inspired by John Lennon’s piano
Sunday, April 10, 4 pm
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church
2750 McFarlane Road
Coconut Grove.
Tickets are $15 and are available on the website or at the event.

Insignia, the vocal ensemble of the Miami Gay Men’s Chorus, will present New World Waking! comprised of songs composed by Steve Schalchlin, inspired when he played the piano on which John Lennon’s created Imagine. The concert takes place on Sunday, April 10th at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Coconut Grove

Imagine. All the people living in peace….No more bullying, gay bashing, self-hatred, transphobia or violence.

It is with this vision that Steve Schalchlin was inspired to create New World Waking.

“New World Waking came together in my mind on the day I was selected by pop star George Michael (and his partner, art gallery owner Kenny Goss) to play John Lennon’s Imagine Piano in the front yard of a house in Olympia, Washington as part of a photographic project,” states Schalchlin on his website. The piano was being taken to places where acts of violence occurred…including the kitchen of Alec and Gabi Clayton, where their son, Bill, had taken his life after a gay bashing.”

“I put my hands where John Lennon’s hands once were, the instrument whose sound inspired the song ‘Imagine’, and I knew in that moment what New World Waking was meant to be: A journey to find a simple song of peace.”

Steve Schalchlin is best known for writing the music and lyrics to two critically-acclaimed, award-winning off-Broadway pop gospel musicals The Last Session and The Big Voice: God or Merman?, written with his life partner of 23 years, playwright and actor, Jim Brochu.

He draws his musical influences from the small town gospel church music he grew up with in Arkansas, along with the Top 40 radio of the late ‘60s/early ‘70s, blues he learned on the Texas Gulf Coast, protest folk and, later in life, musical theater.

Under the artistic direction of Anthony Cabrera, Insignia’s concert reaffirms Schalchlin’s quest and conviction that music can be a vehicle that transcends all boundaries, be they political, religious, ethnic or simply borne out of indiscriminate hatred. It is a journey to find a song of perfect peace, a musical journey styled in pop, salsa, gospel and low down dirty blues. It reflects a desire to effect change, reminding us that we are not alone in our desire and ability to do so.

For further information about Steve Schachlin or New World Waking, visit

Founded in 1999, Miami Gay Men’s Chorus is an all-inclusive, community-based organization of gay men and gay-supporting people that inspires and changes lives through the power of music. With humor and heart, they proudly entertain their audiences while striving for artistic excellence.

The vocal ensemble Insignia is comprised of singers auditioned from within Miami Gay Men’s Chorus. With a repertoire ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous, Insignia serves as a vehicle for outreach for Miami Gay Men’s Chorus.

Photo Attached: Steve Schalchlin plays John Lennon’s Imagine Piano at the home of Gabi & Alec Clayton, facing a photo of their son Bill, who committed suicide after a gay bashing.
Photo credit: Caroline True.