For today’s Flashback Friday, we’re going to talk about impact. If someone were to ask me how many people we have performed for over the past 17 years, I don’t think I could even guess! But I do know that it is not a small number. Every year, Orchestra Miami brings high-quality free concerts to literally thousands of people. Why is this so important to me?
As you all know, I was born and raised in Miami. My parents met and fell in love teaching at Coral Gables High School, and when mom started showing from her first pregnancy, she had to resign. (In the 60’s, the rule was that visibly pregnant women were not allowed to teach!) So, my mom became a stay-at-home mom and raised me, my brother and sister. Money was tight, and while my parents managed to pay for my piano lessons, we definitely did not go to concerts.
Despite this, there was no lack of music in my life. I started accompanying the choirs at Blue Lakes Elementary when I was 10. I took 8th grade American History during summer school so I could have an extra period of chorus class at Glades Junior High. I was the music director for the junior high and high school musicals. I accompanied the band kids in their solo and ensemble competitions. I stayed after school and helped teach my friends in choir their vocal parts for chorus. In short, music wasn’t just something that I practiced at home at the piano, it was my mantra, my reason for getting up in the morning and my vehicle for connecting with other kids. And more than that, it was the means for which I helped kids connect with each other. It was for this reason that I won the Silver Knight Award in music when I was a senior at Southwest Miami Senior High. My project and statement was that music was for everybody, regardless of ability, and my commitment to sharing it extended far beyond the confines of school.
I still strongly believe that music is the tool to connect us and bring us together as a community, as citizens and as human beings, and my commitment to bringing people together through music has only gotten stronger and increased over time. This year alone, I estimate that between the New Year’s Eve celebration, the annual Beethoven on the Beach concerts, the free performances of Carnival of the Animal at Zoo Miami and the Carnegie Hall Link Up Education project, Orchestra Miami will have brought music to well over 10,000 people for free in just one season.
As you probably know by now, this coming Thursday is Give Miami Day. There are so many reasons why Orchestra Miami truly needs your support. But rather than listing them here, I’d like you to focus on 10,000 reasons why your support is important- 10,000 kids, seniors, young adults, and families who in this season alone will experience the joy of live music, experience the power of creating community, experience the feeling of coming together and connecting with their neighbors in a shared moment of harmony. This is the real power of music and what still gets me up in the morning and remains my mantra. Music is for ALL of us, regardless of economic circumstance or ability. I hope that you will join me in supporting YOUR orchestra on Give Miami Day.
To read more about our impact and what your gift funds, click here.