On May 28, 2015, The XA Project, in partnership with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) and the Children’s Inn at NIH, shared the wonder and magic of music with pediatric patients and families staying at the Children’s Inn. It was a magical day.
Kids and families at the Children’s Inn at NIH were treated to lovely concert at the Children’s Inn performed by the amazingly talented BSO Cellist Dariusz Skoraczewski and Flutist Marcia Kämpe. As the music resonated throughout the lobby of the Children’s Inn, families relaxed on couches and chairs to watch the musicians at work, soaking in each note and mesmerized by the beauty emanating from the finely tuned instruments. Several pediatric patients could also be seen peering through the second story balcony to catch a glimpse of the musicians as they cast their musical magic.
Later that evening, patients and families were transported in style by RMA Limo to the Strathmore Music Hall to attend the BSO: Tribute to John Williams concert. John Williams’ music is familiar to just about everyone, and includes scores from: Harry Potter, Superman, Schindler’s List, Raider’s of the Lost Ark, and Star Wars! To set the tone for this concert, people dressed up as Star Wars characters near the ticket windows to greet the concert goers. The families took turns taking pictures with these festive characters!
On this magic day, I met a girl being treated at NIH who has read all the Harry Potter books and listened to all the books on tape too. Her face was a glow when she heard Harry Potter Hedwig’s Theme performed live by the BSO, and she and her mother exchanged these delightful smiles during the piece.
I met a brother of a boy being treated at NIH who met Baltimore Symphony Orchestra‘s Cellist Dariusz Skoraczewski during the afternoon at The Children’s Inn at NIH, and later pointed with excitement when he saw Dariusz playing on stage at the Strathmore with the full orchestra, saying, “Is that him? Is that him? Yes, that’s him!”
These music events are a reminder that these kids are MUCH more than their illnesses and that these families share the joys and burdens of life together. The Arts are not a frivolous luxury or simply a passing form of entertainment. These concerts, and indeed the concerts over last several months, are salient reminders that the Arts connect us to our common humanity and have us experience the essence of life: the joys, the sorrows, the triumphs, and most importantly, the love that exist in our world.
Thank you to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, The Strathmore, The Children’s Inn at NIH, and RMA Limo for helping to make this happen. It is heartwarming to bring joy and smiles to these families, and The XA Project looks forward to sponsoring and organizing future events for the children and families who a staying at the Children’s Inn.