Thursday, September 22, 2005

New World Symphony offers "Symphonic Relief"

There's a place for us,
Somewhere a place for us.
Peace and quiet and open air
Wait for us

There's a time for us,
Some day a time for us,
Time together with time to spare,
Time to learn, time to care,
Some day!

We'll find a new way of living,
We'll find a way of forgiving
Somewhere . . .

There's a place for us,
A time and place for us.
Hold my hand and we're halfway there.
Hold my hand and I'll take you there
Some day,

- "Somewhere" from West Side Story; music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

This Saturday the New World Symphony performs a benefit concert for Hurricane Katrina relief, including Leonard Bernstein's Symphonic Dances from West Side Story. We rehearsed the piece this morning, and listening to the tender melody of the song "Somewhere", I found it touching how this music seems to offer solace to all those who are lost and displaced.

Many of the survivors of Katrina are no doubt seeking "a new way of living" right now, struggling to come to terms with their losses. At the same time, an exodus of evacuees clearing the way for Hurricane Rita may be reminding themselves that "peace and quiet and open air" must one day return.

Beyond just the lyrics, the music has a searching, prayerful quality which echoes, I'm sure, many of the prayers of the victims of both hurricanes in the Gulf Coast. For those of us who have been spared their misfortunes, this music can be a powerful tool for empathy. Hopefully our concert will provide some "time to care" for all who suffer.

The New World Symphony's concert, entitled "Symphonic Relief", will be broadcast on WLRN public radio Saturday, September 24th at 8 pm eastern. It can also be heard over the internet at

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