Thursday, October 27, 2011

Joplin School Orchestra rebuilds after losing everything

A Nov. 1 concert has been scheduled at Missouri State University for the Joplin High School Orchestra, which, of course, was hit especially hard by the May 22 tornado:

The Joplin Orchestra lost most of their instruments, all of their music, and the place they practice. They now, like many students in Joplin, have to go to another school to practice.

"We're practicing here because our other high school was completely destroyed," explained Joplin Orchestra Violists Quinton Anderson.

"We're not at the same place as the rest of my classes," said Joplin Orchestra Violinist Sarah Kessler, "so I have to drive between orchestra and the rest of my school day"

"About 75 percent of my students lost their instruments in the school," said Joplin Orchestra Director Kylee Tripoli.

A great poet once said, "music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life." Everyday life for members of the Joplin Orchestra is filled with the dust of tragedy. That tragedy now defines their town.

"I'm actually lucky to be alive," said Quinton Anderson, "the tornado destroyed my house, killed my parents, and put me in the hospital for 5 ½ weeks."

From that tragedy inspiration was born. "If you think about it," said Quinton, "we're another inspirational comeback. We lost a lot of instruments, our school got destroyed, but yet we are still here practicing every day."

The free concert is Tuesday, Nov. 1st from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts.

Donations will be accepted to help the orchestra replace the music lost during the tornado.

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