My daughter is in the Civic Orchestra, a training orchestra affiliated with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. As part of the CSO’s outreach program, the Symphony works with a local girls juvenile detention center. Currently they are providing the pit orchestra for a musical that the detention facility is putting on.
The musical is a collaboration of songs and stories written by the girls in the facility to give voice and meaning to the experiences that have led them to their present situations. My daughter said the music is very profound, emotional and inspiring—one of the songs, which was written by an inmate in a prison facility in another state, tells how for 20 years he has not seen the stars due to the bright lighting outside the prison. One of the first things he will do when he is released is to sing this song to the stars.
Yo-Yo Ma, creative consultant for CSO, came to visit the detention center and work with the girls putting on the musical production.http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/14/yo-yo-ma-to-work-with-chicago-symphony-on-outreach-programs/ My daughter was invited to go and was very impressed with Yo-Yo Ma and his dedication and efforts to help others find solace through music.
My daughter related that as they were waiting to start the dress rehearsal, Yo-Yo Ma was visiting with the girls in the choir and offered to let one of the girls play his cello. She was too scared to, but another girl was willing to play it. He helped her play each open string and then asked her which string was her favorite. He did the same thing with two other people and each of them chose a different string as their favorite sound. Then he said how amazing it was that three people had the same experience, but they had each chosen a different string. It shows that the same music can speak to each of us differently.
What a great world this is when talented busy people make time to touch the lives of someone else. It makes me wonder what I can do to touch someone’s life and make a difference for them.