A time for tears, a cause for celebration
Saying goodbye to the children of Miarayon last night and this morning was one of the hardest things I've ever done. Their concert last night at Xavier Chapel in Cagayan de Oro was absolutely superb. In one week, they progressed from little or no familiarity with Western classical music, to having created the stuff! Their progress was stunning, and many of their compositions displayed striking originality, combined with vibrant rhythms and dances that made a beautiful homage to the heritage of the Tala-Andig tribe.
At the dinner after the concert and at breakfast this morning, the children became so emotional that we had difficulty holding back tears ourselves. Over half of them were sobbing because we were leaving...they simply didn't want our workshops to end. These children, many of whom can afford next to nothing, gave us small gifts, cards, and letters, so honest and sincere in their heartfelt appreciation that there is nothing I would trade for them--nothing. No experience or honor, no matter how great, would be the equal of the tremendous impact we were fortunate enough to have on the lives of the children of Miarayon.
Tonight, I leave the Philippines and fly to Turkey for Project VII. Project IV in the Philippines has been an unqualified success. Later, I will post acknowledgments to ensure that everyone responsible for its success receives the gratitude they richly deserve. Here, I will only mention the outstanding job that JoAnna, Frank, Jeremiah, Andrew, and Danielle did on this project. They not only "showed up" for the project in person, but "showed up" with all their hearts and souls, to give tirelessly of themselves over the course of this project. May Music for the People always be fortunate enough to attract the participation of outstanding young classical musicians, such as these five.