The old saying goes “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Well, let me see if I can tell you why the picture on this fundraiser invitation means so much to me in a little less.
This photo was taken at the Peace Officer’s Memorial at Courthouse Park last May. For the past 15 years, the homeschool choirs have been invited to sing to the audience of hundreds of peace officers and their families – including those that have lost loved ones in service to our community. This year was the first time that the Inspire One String Orchestras played at this hallowed event, and the first time any of the students from Biola attended.
This picture shows Ernesto (in the lower left corner), and three beautiful young ladies. Olivia is the one wearing the black top. She plays violin in the homeschool orchestra and her journey started in China where she was born before being adopted into a wonderful family (3 of which play in the orchestra with her). Yasmin is in the purple top on the right side. She plays viola in the Biola orchestra and is so gentle and sweet. She’s a 6th grader this year and has been in the orchestra since she was 7 years old.
In the middle is Anna. Anna’s journey also started in China, and she was adopted by another wonderful family. She has been in the orchestra the shortest amount of time, but continues to inspire me every week. Her fingers are shorter than most. She was born missing the knuckle and above of each finger. She has creatively found ways to play her violin with only slight adjustments made in the arrangements because of just a couple unreachable notes. Not only does she play in tune but was one of the first students to learn vibrato (a slight movement of the finger on the string that adds emotional expression).
All of these students are precious, and are learning to be friends across socioeconomic and cultural lines. It’s not impossible – but having friends like Olivia and Yasmin, and the creative tenacity of Anna with beautiful music in common, helps.