The following report about the Mother’s Day concert from our partners Sounds of Palestine was written by volunteer Heath Ellis:
Our Mother’s Day concert was a great success. The children performed four pieces with little preparation and were met with smiles and cheers from the proud mothers and relatives of these budding musicians. The Sounds of Palestine staff worked extra hard to prepare the new space and to create a special atmosphere in order to honor the mothers and acknowledge the support that mothers give to their children in music.
The day began with a brief rehearsal just to make sure we didn’t have any kinks in our music. The mothers then entered the orchestra hall with smiles and an air of pride in their children. The children played four pieces for orchestra and choir and finished by individually stepping up to the microphone to offer a personal appreciation for their mother. We were also given a special treat when one of the mothers volunteered to conduct one of the pieces herself! Afterward we shared homemade snacks and deserts and were able to chat with the families about their experiences with Sounds of Palestine. At the conclusion of the day each mother was given a flower in appreciation for her often difficult role in the precariously sensitive environment of Palestine.
The celebration was also a time for the parents to explore our new building and to see firsthand the fruits of their children’s musical labor. Although these are not the easiest of times, our programs are built on resiliency and flexibility and we will continue to work through challenges and to do everything possible to bolster musical experiences for the amazing children of Palestine! Thanks to everyone who supports Sounds of Palestine! Shukran!
For more pictures of the performance, please visit the photo album.
This post was written by Heath Ellis who is in Bethlehem volunteering with Musicians without Borders and Sounds of Palestine. Heath is a graduate student at the University of Colorado Denver and is a mandolinist and double bassist. His graduate research deals with music programs in refugee camps.