Celebrating Tonality’s Grammy Win: A Testament to the Power of the Arts and Pro Bono

Tonality vocalists at the Grammys: Executive and Founding Artistic Director Alexander Lloyd Blake (third from left), Alex Robinson, Anna Crumley, Becca Tomasko, Cassandra Duschane, David Morales, Gracie Laboy, Kim Dawson, Kion Heidari, Lorenzo Zapata, Mariah Rae, Molly Pease, Natalie Gonzalez.

We are overjoyed to celebrate a monumental achievement by Tonality, our former client that was recently honored with its first Grammy Award for “So She Howls,” the groundbreaking album by Carla Patullo featuring twelve Tonality vocalists. Tonality is a Los Angeles-based vocal ensemble whose mission is to deliver authentic stories through voice and body to incite change, understanding, and dialogue.

Tonality’s journey began in 2016 when Alexander Lloyd Blake, a visionary doctoral candidate at USC, put out “a clarion call for singers in the Los Angeles area to unite to spread a message of hope and unity to a fractured and divided community.” The response was tremendous, and dozens of singers soon came together to form Tonality.

Tonality at Public Counsel in 2017.

Recognizing the complexities involved in establishing a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Mr. Blake sought the expertise of Public Counsel. For decades, our Community Development Project has been at the forefront of providing legal assistance to organizations striving to make a difference in our communities. We were thrilled to connect Tonality with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, which generously offered the pro bono legal support necessary for Tonality to solidify its foundation as an official non-profit entity. Public Counsel’s Annie Marquit then trained Tonality’s first board of directors on their legal responsibilities after they secured tax-exempt status.

Today, Tonality is known for creating choral concerts that focus on issues rarely presented in choral music. The group performs across Los Angeles, and its musical repertoire addresses issues such as homelessness, gun violence, refugees, climate change, mental health, women’s rights, and exercising democratic rights.

Tonality’s Grammy win is not only a victory for the ensemble, but also for all those who believe in the power of music to unite, heal, and inspire. “So She Howls” is an autobiographical journey through grief and adventure, following Carla Patullo’s near-death experience.

Tonality performs for Public Counsel’s Board of Directors in 2017.

This win also highlights the significance of pro bono legal services in empowering artists and nonprofits to pursue their visions. Public Counsel, alongside our partners at Skadden, is proud to have played a role in Tonality’s journey. It showcases how legal support can provide a critical foundation for organizations committed to creating positive change in their communities and beyond.

As we celebrate this incredible milestone, we are reminded of the importance of Public Counsel’s mission to amplify the power of our clients through comprehensive legal advocacy. Tonality’s success is a shining example of the positivity that radiates across our city and beyond when we partner with and uplift community leaders dedicated to making a difference.

Congratulations to Tonality, and let’s continue supporting the arts and their pivotal role in creating a more compassionate, understanding, and unified society! For more information about Tonality and their Grammy-winning album “So She Howls,” click here.

For attorneys and legal professionals interested in providing pro bono services to non-profits like Tonality, be sure to check out Public Counsel’s current opportunities here.

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