The John Morris Community Outreach for Performing Arts ®
Ordinary People…Doing Extraordinary Things…In Exciting Places ®
The John Morris Community Outreach ® has been founded for the purpose of enabling adults of amateur status opportunities to participate in the performing arts, both to ENRICH THEIR LIVES and for the simple pleasure of doing so, according to AND IN MEMORY OF the vision and dream of the man whose name it bears.Dedicated to the principle that virtually every single person can sing, THE JOHN MORRIS Community Outreach ® seeks to promote the joy of singing and provide a safe outlet for that joy among the general population. Adults past the level of college are frequently offered only the options of Church choirs, Barbershop quartets, or Oratorio Societies, most requiring special beliefs, skills, and/ or auditions, or they are relegated to sitting in the audience in exquisite halls wishing, in many ways, they could be on the stage before them. Our purpose is to offer these people the opportunity to SING on these same stages, performing literature from Broadway, Movies, and other popular genres, at a level of excellence achieved with quality coaching.
John, who called Yorkshire home, worked by day for the government as an Environmental Health Inspector. BUT he had studied music at the university level and his passion and his musical skills lit up the night when he met with members of amateur music societies and rehearsed them into nearly professional -quality performers.
John's vision for this amazing organization was the result of a personal development seminar he attended in New Orleans, LA. in 1997. Upon returning to the UK, John used his credit card to reserve the Leeds Town Hall ((a magnificent 19th century performing arts hall in this bustling northern England university town) for a performance of a company of singers that didn’t yet exist!
At his next stop, the local newspaper, John used his credit card to place an ad inviting singers to perform in a concert at the Leeds Town Hall in only 13 weeks. There would be no auditions necessary to participate in the show, which would be performed in the Town Hall complete with full orchestra. Each participant would, however, be expected to pay a small share in the hall.
The over 300 performers who took the stage that night to a full house were met with thunderous approval. With that concert a dream was born. The 11 other companies John formed all over the UK during the next 10 years gave over 10,000 singers opportunities to perform in prestigious venues in the UK, in parts of Europe and in the US. His singers have performed several times in the Royal Albert Hall in London at The Night of 1000 Voices®. They have also performed in the Vatican’s St. Peter’s Basilica, in St. Mark’s in Venice, at Ground Zero in New York City, and on a number of cruise ships, to name just a few of the promised “exciting places.”
It was at this time that John was encouraged to consider auditioning for the Candlelight Processional that takes place 3 times a day at Disney’s EPCOT Center throughout the Christmas season. The singers’ appearances met with great success. During this time John was encouraged to bring his concept to the US…and a new dream was born.
John immigrated to the US, to Orlando, FL and, by placing ads in the Orlando Sentinel, recruited over 150 singers for his first US concert in Orlando’s Bob Carr Auditorium. This was followed rapidly by the formation of a similar company in Tampa and a first successful concert in Tampa’s Straz Center. Several successful concerts ensued individually and together as John made plans for the future. He also successfully acquired his US green card and, after passing the State exam, became a Real Estate Sales Associate.
Armed with a successful track record of musical performances, the dream to grow those two companies into several throughout Florida, a US green card, and an income, John laid huge plans for the future. Then, unfortunately, fate stepped into the plan. In November, 2010 John was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given 12 weeks to live. A fighter to the end, John was determined to fight and beat the disease, and with the help of his doctors and the M.D Anderson Clinic, John continued working while he also fought the disease. He was successful until June 21, 2012 when he lost his battle with the disease.
His dream, however, would not die. At the request of hundreds of loyal US and UK followers, tribute concerts to honor John were performed to packed houses by members of his companies in both Orlando and Leeds. The goal of the newly formed organization here in the USA under new leadership is to take to even greater heights than one could have imagined John’s dream, his simple but engaging concept of giving those ordinary people who sit in audiences everywhere their dream to do extraordinary performances in exciting venues around the US, the UK, and the world.
The dream is John Morris’; the funding comes from grants, sponsors, donations from participants, and audience members. The future belongs to all those ORDINARY PEOPLE…doing EXTRAORDINARY THINGS….in EXCITING PLACES®. We encourage you to support and/or join us today in the great quest of bringing joy and dreams through music to people everywhere!