The Greater Miami Youth Symphony (GMYS) will perform with the Dublin Youth Orchestra in Ireland on Mar. 24 during a weeklong tour of Dublin, Cork, and surrounding areas.
GMYS students have decided to tell the story of their musical rapport with “students across the Atlantic pond” in a short video as they travel to perform throughout Ireland reuniting with their Irish friends and exploring what other interests they have in common. The video project, called “Music Unites Across the Water,” is featured on the GMYS website where the kids are seeking donations to make their trip and the video a reality.
As part of this cultural exchange program, in March 2013 GMYS hosted several dozen students from the Dublin Youth Orchestra in Miami for a rousing multinational performance at Robert Morgan Education Center. The highlight of that collaborative performance was a wonderful rendition of Danzón No. 2 by Mexican composer Arturo Márquez, a dance piece adapted after the habanera style originating in Cuba. The danzón is a fusion of European/Spanish contradanza styles that took on African Creole influences across Latin America in the 1800s. The youth musicians’ collaborative rendition of Danzón No. 2 became a beautiful representation of commonalities the students found they shared with one another while exchanging friendships.
When interviewed about the experience, several GMYS students proclaimed music as an international language. Both groups speak English, but for several of these youngsters, Spanish and Gaelic are their languages of origin. Yet while their accents differed when speaking English together, their music collaborations expressed a unity of feeling.
GMYS students have been preparing for their reciprocal trip to Ireland since 2013 with a variety of fundraising endeavors. Each student must pay or raise $3,000 to participate in the trip. The young musicians have been performing around town asking for donations while performing in restaurants and at public events including the Wynwood and South Miami art walks as well as private gatherings during Art Basel. They recently performed in celebration of Cognac Day at Pinecrest Gardens on February 15.