On September 15, an eager and appreciative audience filled the Norman Rothstein Theatre in Vancouver where they were treated to the artistry and incredible musicianship of the Heart to Heart Orchestra from Seoul, Korea. The concert was presented by the Developmental Disabilities Association (DDA) with support from Community Living BC (CLBC).
“DDA’s motto is, overcoming obstacles, encouraging abilities, which is personified by the Heart to Heart Orchestra,” said DDA’s executive director, Alanna Hendren. “Their performance was inspirational, showing us all what can be accomplished when families and communities work together to support folks to reach their full potential. The musical talent of these young adults is amazing!”
The orchestra played Strauss, Schubert, Hadyn, Mozart, as well as music from the movies Cinema Paradiso and Superman. Each piece is practiced at least 1,000 times and each musician practices up to seven hours a day. Speakers from the Heart to Heart Foundation, the funder of the orchestra, said the time the musicians spend together listening to each other and playing music helps to develop social skills and confidence. CLBC staff Lynn Davies and Jean-Claude Ndungutse left the concert moved by the commitment and talent of the young people on the stage.
“The selection of complex classical and modern pieces the Heart to Heart played at their first Canadian concert was truly beautiful and inspiring,” said Lynn, Vice-President of Regional Operations for CLBC. “Attending their event left me feeling enthused and joyful, and even more committed to CLBC’s vision of lives filled with possibilities in welcoming communities.”
“It was incredibly gratifying to see the audience’s enjoyment, and to hear first hand the talent of these musicians,” said Jean-Claude, CLBC Manager in Vancouver. “Music is truly the universal language and the Heart to Heart orchestra is using it to communicate to the world that there are no limits to how people with diverse abilities can contribute.”
The Heart to Heart Orchestra was founded to provide music education opportunities to young people with developmental disabilities, and to improve awareness about the contributions they make to their communities. Since 2006, the orchestra has performed at more than 600 public concerts at home and abroad. Their tour in B.C.’s Lower Mainland in September 2017 is their first in Canada.