The classical instrumentalists of the Yale Concert Band are speaking volumes through their music. Last night, we attended the band’s final performance of their tour through Italy and Greece.
Maybe it was in the elation of the performers on their last concert in the tour, or in the beautiful interior of the St. George’s church in Athens, or in the classical music itself, but there was something transcendent about hearing the band perform for an audience of local Greeks and other Yale graduates last night. The day before, the band had played a concert for refugees staying in the Eleonas camp in Athens. The students in the band described playing for the refugees as an unforgettable highlight of their tour. They said the children at the camp had loved the experience of hearing the music and examining the instruments, and that the adults at the camp seemed happy that the kids had so much fun. Thomas Duffy, the band’s director, expressed how he was glad that the band could provide an hour of escape and entertainment for the refugees at Eleonas. After seeing how other members of the audience at St. George’s church also appreciated the band’s performance of Greek folk songs, I see how both Greek and refugee audiences find refuge and support in the band’s music.
As the band played David Maslanka’s Hymn for World Peace, I thought about how the band’s efforts to play and raise money for the refugee camp showed an appreciation for the resilience of the people at the center of the crisis.