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Today would have been my father’s 79th birthday. He passed away over five years ago, though for me, especially today, it feels like it happened yesterday. He gave me many different gifts, and since his passing, I’ve seen them come together in ways I hadn’t expected, but that I think he’d be pleased to see. We shared a love for many things, including baseball and the Pink Panther movies, but …

One of my recent posts was about Play Us Forward, an educational initiative of ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, a great example of community engagement for performing groups. Another model for an orchestra getting more involved in the community comes from Germany, where the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, looking for rehearsal space, moved into a school in a neighborhood known for high crime and poverty rates. The partnership, viewed with unease at first by both the orchestra …

 “Welcome to the club.” With these words last night, one of the world’s great violinists, Vadim Gluzman, (near right with microphone, above) handed out instruments to children from four Columbus, Ohio charter schools, to launch a program called Play Us Forward, an initiative of ProMusica Chamber Orchestra to bring music education to these schools for the first time. The program will provide violins and instruction to students at these schools free of charge, thanks …