By Rachel Brumberger
I’ve grown up looking at the pictures differently – the photographs in the museums and books – showing the faces of the Holocaust victims – those pictures. I search for familiar faces, features, some article they possess that might tell me, “That one’s mine!” I wonder if others do the same…search for their people?
I’ve never been able to look at one of these pictures, or a name on the bottom of a poem or piece of art and not wonder. Does this person belong to me? To my family? Were they a neighbor of my grandfather? Do we know them?
I’d imagine it might be the same for many of us? The curiosity of having never known these people – our family members – and wanting desperately to recognize someone… You see, my grandfather was the only one to survive of his siblings – he was the youngest of 6. He and his two nephews, and a few more distant cousins were the only ones to live. No one was left in his village. As I look at those photos, I am endlessly attempting to catch a glimpse of someone who he may have loved at that time. A face I can remember on purpose.
And I have grown up knowing that, “We must never forget,” is a big deal – in many ways it’s the only deal.
I also grew up singing in choir, studying music, performing and befriending some incredibly talented musicians.
It was music that had me making friends, wanting to go to school – wanting to participate. The arts and music were my favorite classes and at most times, the only ones I was fully engaged in – giving it my all. I would exhaust myself in practicing and performing with my choir or A Capella group the way that others would study for a biology exam.
Singing is how I would open my heart, open my lungs, breathe deeply and feel deeply; express myself. No longer in any organized group, I tend to do this in my car, often. It remains one of the best expressions I have. My connection to music is evident everywhere – theme songs I think about for life events, even small every day things or the way I am moved to tears by a movie soundtrack even when I listen out of context. I sing to my cats. I hum to babies. My family sings together in the car.
Just about a year ago, one of those talented musicians I’ve befriended invited my family and I to attend a program featuring Haim. This piece reflects and honors the life of another Holocaust survivor, and musician David Arben.
Whenever I hear the word survivor – I know that regardless of the uniqueness of each person’s story, we are irrevocably connected. As all humans are indeed connected, those who have endured the Holocaust (and their family members) share a unique, and knowing bond. So, of course, we attended. And it was a beautiful night.
Now, in just a few short weeks, that same musician and her incredibly talented colleagues are debuting their new organization with another unveiling of this special piece. Sound Impact is taking on making a difference and music is their medium!
I’ve been inspired and excited by Tiffany over time. Over the years since we met in music theory class, circa 1998, she’s been seeking to engage people – conduct outreach – find a meaningful way to connect others with music, with art and with projects and subjects that serve humanity’s greater good. Rebecca and Danielle possess the same drive, and together I know they are strength, power and creativity.
When we allow ourselves to engage in music, we allow ourselves to participate in experiences, we allow our emotions to move, we engage with the world that is bigger than “me.”
Many cultures and generations can be expressed most clearly by their music. We all know this to be true in some way – the defining music of 60’s or 70’s, the inspiring sound of a Gospel Choir in a church, the festive notes of Oktoberfest… Oyf’n Pripetshok – the Yiddish lullaby, and unmistakable song that as a Jew calls me to stop “dead” in my tracks and take a moment to mourn the loss of lives in Nazi Germany, and also those lives being taken around the globe even today – the Congo, the Middle East, I know this list goes on…
We have an opportunity every day to choose to make a difference. Sound Impact is providing the mediumship for our participation in affecting these societal issues which most impact our fellow human beings – our health, our education, our environment, our children, our capacity for food, water, life…
We can open our ears, open our hearts, get involved and make an impact in our communities and in the global welfare. Will you join us?
Please join Sound Impact on October 6th for an afternoon of chamber music masterpieces, which will culminate in “Haim”.