Spotted in Manila, 2014

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The perfect finish.

Last night, Trade Winds got to be part of an exhilarating performance with the Nairobi Orchestra, East Africa's premiere symphony orchestra. The program included Wagner's "Der Meistersinger", the world premiere of Kenyan composer, Njane Mugambi's "Ujenzi", Paul Basler's "Uhuru", Philip Mundey's "Tales of the Bukusu", Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, and opening the concert, Mozart's "Sinfonia Concertante" with the five of us as featured soloists. After such a fantastic program with both works I was very familiar with, and African pieces I was just getting to know, I didn't think today could be any better than last night. But I was pleasantly surprised when I looked out into the audience to see it filled with students from every school we had taught at over the last three weeks. WOW.

Yesterday, I mentioned to the students at Rise and Shine that if they were interested and able to attend the concert, I was willing to pay for the ticket. I didn't expect over 10 of them to be able to come! I was out a few shillings, but was so so happy to do it for them. Especially since they WALKED from Kawangware to see the performance. They gave me so much by being there.

Following the Mozart, the five of us left the stage and hugged Christina and Ellen goodbye as they hurried to the airport to catch their flight back to New York. Brian and I will be returning to New York tomorrow.

Seeing our students filling the hall today was really the perfect ending to such a meaningful outreach project, and a wonderful culmination of a year of hard work both as teachers and performers. It was like the end of a great, tear-jerking movie, everyone brought together by the music.

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