Tomorrow’s concert O Beautiful showcases three American works including a suite of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess tunes, and the emotional and powerful symphony, Ellis Island: The Dream of America. Composer Peter Boyer seamlessly weaves seven true stories of early 20th century immigrants with a cinematic score.
Like many of you, my family is fairly new to this country. My grandma Anne’s parents and brothers fled Poland in 1930 for a new life in Canada, leaving behind a sister who wasn’t heard from after the war. Grandma moved to the States in the ’50s to marry my grandpa Jim whose father was born in Slovenia, came to America as a child and fought in the first World War as a young man.
The stories showcased in Ellis Island remind me of my grandparents and great-grandparents who came here for a better life. They remind me of my friends from Central and South America who are here to study, teach and work in the land of opportunity. They remind me of myself.
The words may be history, but the stories are contemporary and universal.
I hope you can join us tomorrow for this incredible work and More Than Music activities before the concert.
Matt Meier, DPO Board Secretary