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[Chosun Ilbo] Heart to Heart Orchestra performs at the World Special Olympics Pre-game

Date : 2012-02-23 Hit : 1,708

The first orchestra of youth with developmental disabilities

As more than 1000 audiences of Special Olympics International athletes, coaches, and administrators gathered at the Yongpeyong Dome, Heart to Heart Orchestra played for the grand opening of 2013 Pyeongchang Special Olympics World Winter Pre-Games on February 22nd 2012.  The musicians of Heart to Heart Orchestra seemed nervous at first, but soon eased with the rhythm of the music while playing.
They played “Olympic Spirit”, “Overture of William Tell”, and “The Bridge on the River Kwai” in a row. And for the finale, famous pop-opera singer Lim Hyung-Joo sang “You Raise Me Up” on the orchestra’s music.
Musicians of Heart to Heart Orchestra performed for the athletes of Special Olympics from all over the world who also have intellectual disabilities.  Heart to Heart orchestra was established for young people with developmental disabilities by Heart to Heart Foundation in 2006. It is a miraculous process to make the harmony of 40 musicians with developmental disabilities, who have most difficulties in communicating with others. At first, it was hard to even sit the musicians down for a short practice session.  It was not uncommon to see the young musicians walking around or shouting during the orchestra practice.
But it was the power of music that transformed and united them after all. The conductor of the orchestra, Sung-Ho Park said, ”Now they respond to my words with full eye contact and are able to listen to others playing. They have learned cooperation and respect for others through orchestra’s teamwork.”

The flutist
Hong Junghan with level 3 intellectual disability, graduated from Baekseok Arts University this year.  Although his doctors told his mother he won’t be able to walk for his life at birth, he graduated from college of music and plans to work as a professional flutist.  Like Junghan, most of the members communicate with the world through music. Since its establishment in 2006, Heart to Heart Orchestra has performed more than 120 concerts worldwide and delivers a message of hope to other disabled people.
Special Olympics World Winter Pre-Games in which more than 300 athletes from 9 countries participated, was held as a preparatory event for 2013 Pyeongchang Special Olympics World Winter Game.

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