Live music sounds best when it’s shared. In late January, members of the MET Orchestra were joined by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer at the New York Public Library’s Harry Belafonte Branch in Harlem to perform a free “Musical Read-Aloud” for children and families.
Borough President Brewer read “Buzzard and Wren Have a Race” from the book “A Ring of Tricksters” by Virginia Hamilton and the book “Icarus Swinebuckle” by Michael Garland, accompanied by an original score composed by Robert Miller, husband of MET Orchestra violinist Elena Barere.
This children’s program has been organized by the MET Orchestra Musicians, who are engaging with communities across the city and advocating on issues that touch the lives of all New Yorkers, including a well-rounded cultural education; funding for arts organizations and artists; access to live music and increased diversity and equity in the arts.
“We’re very excited to play for kids and families at the Harry Belafonte library!” said MET Orchestra violist Mary Hammann, “As a parent and a member of the orchestra, I’ve seen first-hand that music, the arts and community advocacy go hand-in-hand. At a time when our society is openly discussing equity and inclusion, and when support for the arts in our schools and communities is constantly under threat, we must find new ways to introduce young people to the power of live music and the art that helps them to learn and thrive. The musicians in our orchestra are committed to strengthening the role that music and art play as part of a healthy, inclusive and positive society.”
“Manhattan is home to some of the world’s most talented artists and art institutions, and when we can bring that talent into the community where our students can experience it first hand, everyone wins,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. “I thank the MET Orchestra Musicians for helping our young children experience the power of live music, and for using their passion and creativity to support our public libraries and the work they do every day.”
“It is a privilege to welcome Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and the talented members of the MET Orchestra Musicians to the Harry Belafonte Library,” said Library Manager Tequila Davis. “Our namesake has inspired millions with his music and we are delighted to host this wonderful event, one that combines the magic of melody and reading, nurturing the imagination of our young patrons.”
“Music and the arts play a vital role in every aspect of our society and the health of our communities,” said Local 802 President Tino Gagliardi. “The MET Orchestra Musicians are not only musicians, they are New Yorkers – parents, teachers and community advocates – who are active in the civic life of our city and who care passionately about making sure our children have access to the arts. Through their artistry and advocacy, they are inspiring our youngest generations to be creative, and showing that everyone can love and take part in making music.”