Youth Orchestras Create A Bridge
In El Paso, Texas recently, two youth orchestras joined to form the United States/Mexico Youth Philharmonic Orchestra. The ensemble included the El Paso Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Orquesta Sinfónica Esperanza Azteca Ciudad Juárez.
They performed a concert entitled The Bridge in El Paso and again in Cuidad Juárez to packed houses, with mayors of the two cities attending. Maria McCullough, business manager for the El Paso Youth Symphony, said, "It was so beautiful. Afterward there were so many tear, tears of appreciation, joy."
The two ensembles are now planning on forming a binational youth orchestra.
It took months to plan the massive event, and the concerts received such positive receptions on both sides of the border, it might not be a stretch to believe it was a success despite the current strain between the two countries and not as a reaction to it.
Music has a way of lifting us up above the fray, doesn't it? As Longfellow said, "Music is the universal language of mankind." It allows us to speak to each other and relate to each other miles and miles away from the base rancor of politics.
Antonio Rocha, an 18-year-old horn player with the Mexican youth orchestra said, "It brings us together from both sides. It makes the world a more peaceful place."
Well said, Antonio. Well said.
Note: Photos are courtesy of the El Paso Youth Orchestra, and quotes were borrowed from an article published by The Dallas Morning News. You can read the full article HERE.