Aural Compass Projects is a non-profit music organization founded in 2019 that is dedicated to performing new and less-performed works. We strive to foster and develop a solid moral compass which guides our work in advancing towards equality and better representation in the arts. We believe that following a strong code of ethics while cultivating a space for new music and music that has not had the opportunity of being fully appreciated is our duty as artistic ambassadors and is incredibly important for the collective growth of our community and world.
Aural Compass Projects is the brainchild of CodyRay Caho and Michael Lewis. In December 2018, the couple paired up to put together a recital, Living Scars, which focuses on trauma and the difficult process of emotional healing. The performance is a combination of vocal art songs, folk songs, musical theater pieces, poetry readings and stories related to the shared human experience of trauma. This multimedia performance allows the audience to view trauma and healing through different lenses in hope that the subject of trauma becomes less taboo in our conversations as we, as a community, help each other heal. CodyRay and Michael teamed up with La Frontera - local Phoenix suicide prevention center - and Master Addiction and Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Amy Morris, to provide physical and online resources for trauma healing.
After the success of the initial two performances of Living Scars, the duo wanted to continue creating performances that speak to the heart of their community. They decided to form ACP as a way to extend meaningful musical performances to a wider audience.
In its first season, ACP produced four projects with 7 performances in 5 cities in New York and Arizona. The inaugural season started off with Songs of the Rainbow, a celebration of American, British, and Canadian LGBTQ+ composers, performed in October 2019 at the Marc Scorca Hall at Opera America in Manhattan. Songs Without Borders, a recital featuring composers and performers who are American immigrants and refugees, was then performed at the First Unitarian Universalist Congregational Society in Brooklyn and the Church of the Messiah in Rhinebeck, NY in December 2019. In January 2020, ACP took a trip to Phoenix, AZ with mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas to produce two performances of Much has Fallen Silent, a recital honoring the lives and works of five Jewish composers who were affected by the Holocaust. They wrapped up their exciting first season with Lift Every Voice, a festival of songs written by African-American composers, again at First Unitarian Universalist Congregational Society in Brooklyn. ACP looks forward to growing and connecting with more people in the future as they continue to promote new and unheard works by marginalized composers.
Aural Compass Projects is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Founder & Artistic Director
Producing Manager & Administrative Assistant
Chelsea Fingal DeSouza
Social Media & Marketing Manager
Artistic Advisory Board
Amanda Bottoms, mezzo-soprano
Janai Brugger, soprano
Maria Corley, composer/pianist
Helen Huang, soprano
Daveda Karanas, mezzo-soprano
Sarah Jo Kirsch, soprano
Elliott Paige, tenor
Jorge Sosa, composer
Board of Directors