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World Peace Orchestra, 134 Young Musicians, One Mission

I joined this amazing discount ticket site, Goldstar  which offers us great opportunities to discover the arts in New York in ways that I either would never have heard of, or, not been able to afford.

One of these opportunities was to see the World Peace Orchestra perform at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center.  This is an orchestra made up of 134 young musicians from 50 countries.  Most played instruments you would expect to see at an orchestra, like the violin, flute, drums and clarinet.  But others played lesser known instruments native to their culture, like the salamuri panduri and the kirar, angling, and dombira.

It was another one of those moments where learning intertwines with life when I discovered that one of the pieces played would be a montage of songs by Leonard Bernstein from West Side Story.  How serendipitous that we saw this musical a few months ago.

Getting to this event was not easy however.  What should have been a 90 minute train ride, turned into a ride twice as long when our train was stuck on the tracks for over an hour while we waited for a disabled train and wire damage to be cleared.  I have a daughter that does not love taking trains and this caused her great anxiety.  Fortunately we had water, and the each had their iTouch to watch movies and/or play games to pass the time.  Thankfully, we were able to meet up with Greg at Grand Central Station and have enough time to grab dinner at one of our favorite restaurants across the street from the terminal.

When we arrived at Lincoln Center we discovered it to be a hub of activity since New York Fashion Week was holding an event there as well.  The runway show for Badgley Mischka was talking place.  These events are invite only and walking into the show were very tall, very thin, very stylish young women.  I wanted to get inside my daughter’s head and see what they were thinking about it all.  I have one daughter who likes fashion and another who could care less about it.  Since Greg works in the fashion industry, though not on the creative side, I am careful to keep a balance between the creative artistic side of fashion, and the frivolity of it all.

Our concert began at 8pm and was introduced by actor Kevin Spacey.  It was an experience I am glad we had.  Grace connected with the music, the young musicians, and the theme that music transcends the issues that divide us.  The theme of the night was unity and celebration and peace.

Unfortunately our night was cut short which was very disappointing to Grace.  I wished that we drove into Manhattan for this event, not only because of our stressful ride in, but because we were tied to the train schedule for the ride home.  Trains only run once an hour after 10:30pm.  There were three pieces left in the concert at 10:00 and the transitions between songs took several minutes.  There was no way we would catch the 10:30 train if we stayed, and I was at a loss as to what to do.  Leave and disappoint one daughter (Lilah was very ready to go), or stay and get home at 1:00am?  Greg’s alarm goes off at 4:45.  We chose to leave early and we were able to catch the 10:30 train home.  I wish we could have stayed so that Grace could have listened to the last song, the World Peace Orchestra anthem.  I am trying to find it for her.

I am grateful for the opportunities we have due to our proximity to New York.  My girls have grown up in New York from stroller riding toddlers, to subway surfing children and now to concert going, play attending preteens and teens.  I hope they look back on this experience and overlook the frustrations of the night and focus on the beauty of the dresses, the warmth of the night, and the unity of the music that brought us there in the first place.


  1. What a wonderful opportunity for your girls! Even with the night cut short a bit, it still sounds amazing. I truly love where we live, but every once in a while, I would love my girls to experience the culture that the big city has to offer!

    1. Just like anywhere there are pros and cons. Part of the culture comes a not so nice side of big city life. One time we encountered a homeless man who was also mentally ill and thankfully the MTA officers helped him out of the train station and to the hospital to get clean clothes and medication. This image stayed with my girls, Grace especially for weeks and was very traumatic for her. There are the trains that break down and the exorbitant costs of every day items. BUT, I am grateful that we can visit, enjoy our concert or meal or theater performance and then come home to where life is a bit quieter, calmer and less stressful.

  2. Just amazing all the opportunities that are so close to you. I love this. I'm with Jenn. I love living here but being able to catch a train to NYC would be awesome!!!

    1. We bought our home in this town for that reason. Greg has been committing for years. This was the first town on the rail line that was affordable. The closer you get to New York (and we are an hour away!) the greater the cost. There is no way we wanted to spend the money on a home in Westport or Greenwich. I would have had to work full time to help defer the mortgage cost. And if we lived in New York, there are very strict homeschooling regulations. So I try not to complain about the commute time, or the delayed trains and appreciate the ability to take a day trip into the city.

  3. This looks JUST AMAZING! I so wish I had the opportunity to do this kind of thing with my children, Jess! We get "ok" things like this in Atlanta -- but nothing like you do in NYC. What a great evening!

    1. Despite the few issues we had, it was a great evening and one I will look back on and be glad we attended.


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