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Music brings joy, evokes emotions on many stages

Do you hear what we hear?

Music has made the headlines locally in recent weeks, and well it should. This region has long been blessed with strong music programs that foster the talents of our young.

Take a look at the Williamsport Area School District, where the school will celebrate its 30th annual holiday concert at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Williamsport Area High School.

The event features choir, band and orchestra groups from throughout the district who come together to perform holiday-themed music from classical to contemporary.

It is a sight — and a sound — to behold, as anyone who has attended this event over the years will tell you.

Another event that many wish they could have witnessed was held recently in South Palm Beach, Florida, where Dr. Kenneth Sarch, a member of the Lycoming College music faculty, had the privilege of performing for the first time in over 75 years on a violin that had been hidden by a victim of the holocaust.

During the “Vanished Voice” recital, the violin of Bram Rodrigues, an 18-year-old musician who was killed by the Nazis at the Auschwitz concentration camp, was passed from relatives of Rodrigues to Dr. Sarch. The musical instrument had been hidden for over seven decades until it was returned to relatives of Rodrigues this past summer.

“It brings up emotions,” Dr. Sarch said of thinking about the Holocaust as a Jew, and performing on the violin is a way for him to express himself emotionally. And those who listen to music make the emotional connections on the receiving end as well.

Yes, we do wish we could have been there to hear and witness this very special performance.

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