Having spent just a few months Boston, the most thrilling part of the city has been its people. In our life as artists, we are constantly making the connection between music and community. It is quite clear to me already that Boston seems to have limitless potential in using the arts as a vehicle to bring people together. In a world that now provides quick answers on the iPhone, music
via Pandora, and media on YouTube, it may be the arts, which solely remains a channel to build, maintain, and value relationships with each other—which
occasionally overshadowed by technology, are loosing quality.
Now this strong statement is certainly a reflection of personal experiences: During the most profound musical experiences in my own career, I always seem to remember the people I was surrounded by. My time in Boston has been no different. In August, David, Julie (my colleagues in the fellowship), and I met four random strangers on the streets in Cambridge late one evening. After a few pleasantries, we learned that they were a Barbershop Quartet who were keen on teaching us a few lines of their music right then and there. We not only learned and sang together, but ended up attracting twenty other people from the streets
who were interested in not only watching, but joining the “choir”. 45 minutes later (at 1:00am), I was singing songs that I had never heard before, and with 20 strangers! The gentleman who was standing next to me admitted that he had never sung before. I said “Perfect. You’re in the right place, because we don’t care. Give it a shot.” With the addition of that one stranger, it was an unexpected bonding experience that merely serves as a reminder as to the young, eager citizens of this city.
Youth all across Boston are also committing their education to bring music to their communities.The Boston Children’s Chorus’ annual MLK tribute was a concert experience that transformed the audience into a family for ninety minutes. The Boston Arts
Academy’s senior grant projects are directly focused around making an active change in the Boston community. El Sistema-inspired programs in Brighton (Conservatory Lab Charter School) and Chinatown (Josiah Quincy Elementary (seen above)) will soon be joined by projects in Sommerville, Jamaica Plain, Dorchester, and Roxbury. Boston not only has a plethora of artistic opportunity, but people that will engage in it. With the forward-thinking, dedicated learners present in this city, we now have a chance to link conservatories and public schools with communities who have little access or interest in classical music. So how do we get our neighbors attention? We use intervention where there is need and create a process and product that is relevant to very people we serve. To lead selflessly and give back to others encourages people to acknowledge the value of
those around them. Boston is a city of collaborations waiting to be formed. Mitch Albom says, “if the culture you are surrounded by doesn’t suit you, create your own culture.” This city’s musicians certainly have.
From 2013 on, this blog will serve as a photo-blog encompassing students, friends, family, and other fun life events!