Photo: Miki Koren
Violins of Hope collection
Do you have an old string, woodwind, or brass instrument taking up space in your attic or basement? Violins of Hope Greater Pittsburgh and The Farina Foundation have set out to collect and distribute used instruments to young musicians while also spreading a message of kindness as a way to honor those lost to the Holocaust.
On Sun., July 30, instruments will be collected at Calvary Episcopal Church in Shadyside. The instruments will then be restored and presented to area youth, who will then play them in honor of World Kindness Day, which will take place during a concert on Nov. 19 at Heinz Hall with the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Junior Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh.
According to a press release, Violins of Hope encourages young people to play musical instruments they would not typically have access to them due to financial need, lack of resources, and personal challenges.
Violins of Hope Greater Pittsburgh
, which functions under The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, cites how music plays a vital role for kids, as it offers "multifaceted benefits." The organization lists a number of examples, including Alice Geez-Sommer, who became the oldest Holocaust survivor and credited music for saving her life in Auschwitz, and John Bayless, a famous pianist whose music aided his recovery after a stroke.
"Moreover, research suggests a correlation between music and math skills, enhancing cognitive development," a statement reads. "Additionally, music serves as an emotional outlet, helping kids express themselves and cope with various feelings. Overall, music fosters creativity, resilience, and emotional well-being, making it a crucial aspect of a child's development."
The drive precedes a special appearance of the Violins of Hope collection in Pittsburgh
. Opening on Oct. 7 at Carnegie Mellon University, the exhibit boasts instruments gathered by Violins of Hope founder Amnon Weinstein and his son, Avshi, who devoted much of their lives to "locating and restoring rare violins of the Holocaust as a tribute to those who were lost, including their relatives."
The Violins of Hope project has collected violas, violins, and cellos since after World War II, and Holocaust survivors have additionally donated and bought string instruments from the organization.
The Violins of Hope have been played in concert halls and exhibited in museums worldwide.
Sandy Rosen, co-chair of Violins of Hope Greater Pittsburgh, says, “Just as the instruments from the Violins of Hope collection come with their own unique story of resilience and hope, these once cherished instruments can lift the spirits of one young person and enhance the trajectory of their life."
Violins of Hope Greater Pittsburgh used-instrument drive
. 9:30 a.m.- 1 p.m. Calvary Episcopal Church. 315 Shady Ave., Shadyside. violinsofhopepittsburgh.com