C-U Sings for Charity

Champaign-Urbana, Illinois holds a great treasure in the form of its music and art community. In the face of change and pandemic, a remarkable group of 41 singers and 15 instrumentalist have come together to elevate the spirits of their city and beyond, with a recorded musical message and video: “C-U Sings Volume 1: Let It  Be.” All proceeds from the recording will be donated to Promise Healthcare, who work diligently to provide affordable and accessible high-quality health care in Champaign-Urbana, and Champaign County Health Care Consumers, who help provide quality affordable health care for all and environmental health and justice.

The project was conceived by music fan and businessman James Barham of Barham Benefit Group during a bicycle ride in the country. Barham enlisted engineer/producer/drummer James Treichler of Wave Upon Wave Recording, artist/studio owner/educator Ryan Groff of Perennial Sound Studio, and engineer/producer/audio educator Mark Rubel. Together they assembled a cross-section of musical talent: from Groff’s young son Oliver to REO Speedwagon/Starcastle vocalist Terry Luttrell, the band Champaign’s Pauli Carman, and a host of singers and players of various genres. Barham has graciously paid for the production and all donation fees, so 100% of all proceeds will go to Promise Healthcare and Champaign County Health Care Consumers.

A fund has been established with the Community Foundation of East Central Illinois and additional donations for these organizations can be offered through the Community Foundation’s website at www.cfeci.org or to the Community Foundation at 307 West University Ave., Champaign, IL 61820.

Recording safely was a challenge: observing health protocols in studios, with some people recording their own parts at home, and even outside. “Our only regret is that we couldn’t include more of the wonderful talent that Champaign-Urbana is so lucky to have”, says Rubel, “but hope that we speak for the arts community in saying that we are in support of the entire community, as it has supported us. We look forward to being able to perform for you in person, and hope that this might speak for us all until that time.”

Paul McCartney wrote “Let It Be” as a message of positivity which remains relevant and necessary today. It was the result of a dream where Paul’s mom Mary, who had died during surgery for breast cancer when he was 14, was reassuring him that it was going to be okay: just let it be. He was so taken with the positive message of those three words that it inspired the song.


For more information:

James Barham: jab@barhambenefit.com / 217.369.6964

James Treichler: jamestreichler@gmail.com

Ryan Groff: ryangroff@gmail.com

Mark Rubel: mrubel@theblackbirdacademy.com / 217.621.8150