WACAI Performs at the Eugene Symphony's "World Beats" Youth Concert
November 10th WACAI performed in the Eugene Symphony's Youth Concert. The concert entitled "World Beats" explored the diversity found in a universal language: music. It featured a variety of guest artists and local cultural organizations, including: Trio Voronezh, Eugene Flamenco Arts, Eugene Ballet Academy, and the Chinese-American Benevolent Association’s Fan Dancers. Click here for WACAI's Facebook photo album of event!
There were 4,258 students grades K-8 in attendance from schools in 4J, Springfield, Bethel, and the South Lane District as well as Albany, Sweet Home, Roseburg, Walterville, and home school groups.
Some of the cultural groups actually collaborated with the symphony to perform a piece together whereas WACAI presented a drum piece down stage as the symphony's musicians listened attentively from their upstage location. It was a really cool to have so many professional musicians' attention focused on the drumming from Guinea all at once and after the show many took the time to compliment us on our piece, especially Papa! Papa's participation in the Youth Concert actually had a huge impact on the audience. A student from the Bethel School District commented “That kid drummer was amazing! I want to be like him.”
One of the highlights of the performance was looking out from the stage into the packed house of the Hult Center's Sylva Hall and seeing some of our previous students from our work in various schools bouncing happily to the sound of our drums. Also, as we were pulling out of the Hult Center throngs of kids were passing in front of our parked vehicle on their way back to their school buses. When they caught a glimpse of us in the car they started waving, shouting, and jumping up and down. It felt so wonderful to see such an enthusiastic expression of excitement and know that our music really touched those kids in such an inspiring way!