CONCERT CLIP: Do Yeon Kim plays Changiparangga for solo gayageum at ROP's March 2018 concert
CONCERT CLIP: Refugee Orchestra Project performs Milad Yousufi's Freedom
Junghwa Park, soprano
"I am from South Korea. Human rights in North Korea are severely limited, and North Koreans are trying to escape every day. I have heard lots of tragic stories from people who escaped from North Korea, and it is really painful to listen the stories because we are the same "Korean". We use the same alphabet, the same language. Even though there are some differences in expression of sentences or words, we do have numerous things in common such as same traditional folk songs. I thought this would be a good opportunity to share our country's tragic story and to have healing time through music."
Ian Pomeranz, bass-baritone
"All eight of my great-grandparents were refugees fleeing either political violence or religious/ethnic persecution. Without the support they received in the United States, I would not be alive. I owe my existence to those who helped refugees in the first half of the 20th century."
"My grandparents were Holocaust survivors who came to Australia by boat as refugees in 1946."
Maya Mapuana, mezzo-soprano
"Borders are a man made thing. We are all humans trying to decipher our way through this world, and I believe we should be as open and loving to each other as we can. As long as you're not hurting others, I don't see why you can't be invited to the game."
"My grandparents on both sides of my family (Russia and Poland) escaped the pogroms at the turn of the century. We must honor the rights of all human beings to live their lives with freedom, dignity, and opportunity!"
Barbara Quintiliani, soprano (soloist)
"As Massachusetts's very own Leonard Bernstein said: 'This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.' This means so much now more than ever. Though I am not directly effected by this crisis, as a member of the human race I believe we are, in fact, our brother's keeper. I am deeply moved by this extraordinary effort and I hope that we can work together to make some extraordinary music to at least try to ease the heavy burden that so many are carrying."
Eri Isomura, percussionist
"This project is a way for individual audience members to connect with others on a deeper level through a communal musical experience. As a performer, I am inspired to connect with people through meaningful art to raise awareness of the needs around their communities. I recently commissioned a marimba solo titled "Samaritan", which is a composition based on the value of helping strangers, even if they may be enemies. The premiere was in a solo benefit recital this past January that raised over a thousand dollars for a charity aiding Syrian refugees residing in Jordan. I find it pure joy to see people of different backgrounds come together and end up with a larger view of the world."
Erin Merceruio Nelson, soprano
"So many of our lives have been touched by refugees. I am so lucky to have been born in the United States and have the opportunities this country has to offer. We are all immigrants. I believe everyone should have the chance to live in the world of freedom. It is our job to take care of one another. Personally, my undergraduate voice teacher came to the US from Georgia in 1989. She helped me grow into a serious artist and showed me how to care for my body as an instrument. I welcome the chance to support this important visibility effort for refugees all over the world."
Betsy Bobo, mezzo-soprano
"I had a personal experience in an airport terminal with an entire extended family fleeing Somalia several years ago. I sang to the Children, who were fascinated and interested to see what letters I wrote while singing ABCD etc. - this all took place because all of us were delayed. The mother knew a bit of English and was anxious for her children to learn and also sing back to me. I'm struck by the courage it takes to flee oppression and humbled to offer anything to honor these brave, desperate people."
Mauri Tetreault, mezzo-soprano
"There is so much negativity, fear, and hate running this world. This project is a way to send the message that there are kind people in the world, and we can all get together to create something magical."