Celebrating Musical Achievements
The Richmond Times-Dispatch
I recently had the privilege of adjudicating the wonderful London New Year's Day Parade and Festival in the United Kingdom. The Old Dominion was well represented by excellent performances from the bands of Menchville High School, Newport News, and by the Stone Bridge High School band of Ashburn. That these bands lived up to expectation was no surprise, for an invitation to the London New Year's Day Parade is a highly coveted honor.
The highlight of my time in London, however, was provided by the American Youth Harp Ensemble, under the direction of Lynnelle Ediger-Kordzaia. Ms. Ediger-Kordzaia is an incredibly gifted teacher. Her passion for sharing her gifts with her students was evident in the stunning performances in Southwark Cathedral and St. John's Smith's Square. (A premier concert hall in Central London.) Performances of this calibre are rare, and I was pleased that these talented young musicians enjoyed the privilege of performing before large and very appreciative audiences. Several musical veterans were moved to tears by the exquisite sounds of a dozen harps.
I write because I feel that Richmond needs to be made aware and given the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of these young people, and to support unequivocally the tremendous work the Harp Ensemble does with underprivileged and troubled youth across the community. It is a testimony to the mission of this group that music heals and nurtures as well as entertains. I commend the American Youth Harp Ensemble to you, and to the entire Richmond Community. In an era where too much print is spent in pointing out what is wrong with our nation's youth, I suggest that this is one instance that celebrates all that is right with the young people in your community. You should be very proud indeed.