Derry~Londonderry, as the two names might suggest, is a city coping with political and religious divisions, created by a history of conflict. Added to this are economic hardships: this divided city includes some of the poorest neighborhoods in Europe.
Yet despite all the sources of tension, there exists a vibrant community tirelessly working toward reconciliation and healing. Musicians without Borders brought a team of 12 Musicians without Borders trainers and performers to this ancient walled city in May 2013. We joined in performances and led workshops to bring people of all ages and all parts of the city together for music and healing.
The program was called “Singing the Bridge” and it was hosted by Cultúrlann, a language arts and cultural center in Derry. We speak for all of the singers, percussionists and music teachers who work with Musicians without Borders in expressing our gratitude for being invited by Cultúrlann. As with all of our successful partnerships, it was clear that our expertise and experience were an enhancement to an already inspired and dedicated group who will build upon the work we did together. We look forward to a lasting partnership in pursuit of finding common ground through music throughout Northern Ireland.
In Northern Ireland, as in other communities around the world where Musicians without Borders joins the search for peace and reconciliation, we learn each time the music starts: that sometimes the first step toward finding common ground isn’t a step at all, but a sound.