Mon. Dec 5th, 2022

Charles Dimmick [1st violin in the quartet and PSO concertmaster] at left and Amy Sims [2nd violin in the quartet and assistant principal concertmaster] play violins from the Violins of Hope assortment Oct. 18 at Spruce Mountain Center College in Jay. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

JAY — On Oct. 18 college students at Spruce Mountain Center College discovered in regards to the Holocaust and World Struggle II by a Violins of Hope presentation.

Choose members of the Portland Symphony Orchestra carried out musical alternatives from that period whereas narrators offered details about the Violins of Hope and what was taking place in and round Germany throughout that point.

Performing have been 1st Violin within the quartet and PSO Concertmaster Charles Dimmick, 2nd Violin within the quartet and Assistant Principal Concertmaster Amy Sims, Principal Cello Sein Lee and Assistant Principal Viola Willine Thoe.

Members of the Portland Symphony Orchestra and the Holocaust and Human Rights Heart of Augusta have been a part of a Violins of Hope presentation Oct. 18 at Spruce Mountain Center College in Jay. Pictured from left are Charles Dimmick [1st violin in the quartet and PSO concertmaster], Amy Sims [2nd violin in the quartet and Assistant Principal Concertmaster], Sein Lee [principal cello] and Willine Thoe [assistant principal viola]. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

The violin Dimmick has is particular, not as a result of it’s the biggest violin on the earth however as a result of it actually went on a journey to get right here, PSO Director of Training John Elliott mentioned. “That violin was made in Germany within the early twentieth century and it was bought by a younger man who grew up studying the right way to play,” he famous. “One thing unhealthy occurred to him and he was pressured to stay in a focus camp Auschwitz for a part of his life. He and that violin each survived and he moved again to Germany after World Struggle II.

“He didn’t actually have any possessions aside from his violin,” Elliott mentioned. “He bought it to a different violin participant for $50. The person who purchased it hoped his son would at some point develop up and learn to play it. His son, Freddy did learn to play and he donated that violin to a gaggle of people that had a gaggle of devices known as the Violins of Hope.”

All violins within the Violins of Hope assortment have related tales, Elliott mentioned. All have been given the refurbishment and tender loving care as in the event that they have been the best sounding devices on Earth, he famous.

Violin-makers Amnon Weinstein and Avshalom Weinstein personal the violins, violas and cellos within the Violins of Hope assortment. There are about 100 devices within the assortment with all having a connection to the Holocaust. Some have been donated by or bought from survivors or members of the family whereas others carry the Star of David, an emblem utilized by the Nazis to establish Jews.

The string quartet carried out the primary motion of String Quartet in C minor composed by Sholom Secunda.

Secunda was from a Jewish household, he and his household have been pressured to flee to the USA the place he grew to become a widely known composer, Elliott mentioned. “His story is considerably frequent in Jewish households,” he famous.

“These violins got here from a time frame generally known as the Holocaust, Alex Magnaud, an educator with the Holocaust and Human Rights Heart in Augusta, mentioned. “The Holocaust was the deliberate homicide of European Jews by Nazi Germany,” she famous. “It passed off over a time frame from 1933 to 1945. Adolf Hitler and the Nazis in Germany have been the primary individuals accountable for the Holocaust however they’d many keen collaborators such because the German Military and extraordinary German residents.” Hundreds of others participated in Germany and lots of different European nations, she added. Many nations on the time, together with the USA wouldn’t permit European Jews into their nations, she added.

In the course of the Holocaust six million Jewish males, girls and kids have been killed with 1.5 million of these murdered underneath the age of 18, Magnaud mentioned. “They have been intentionally exterminated,” she famous. “This was two-thirds of all of the Jews in Europe and one-third of all the world Jewish inhabitants.”

Avshalom Weinstein was a part of the SMMS presentation and spoke in regards to the violin performed by 2nd violinist Sims. It was made by a violin maker in his 70s working in Europe earlier than the conflict who didn’t survive the conflict, he mentioned. The violin was owned by a rich industrialist who died in 1947, Weinstein famous. The one issues left from that industrialist is that this violin and a small {photograph}, he added.

“There have been tens of 1000’s of focus camps throughout Europe,” Weinstein mentioned. “Each camp had an orchestra. The Auschwitz orchestra needed to play on daily basis within the morning, even within the rain or snow.”

The Nazis used music to make the Jews within the camps work, Weinstein mentioned. The musicians have been the final to go to work and the primary to return again, it was how a few of them managed to outlive, he added.

“The Holocaust was distinctive, totally different from another mass execution that occurred earlier than or since,” Magnaud mentioned. “Each single one of many tens of millions of Jews dwelling in Europe was focused by the Nazis to be murdered. The Nazis’ assault on the Jews was totally different from their actions towards the opposite peoples of race. Throughout their time in energy the Nazis persecuted and murdered many others: gypsies, Jehovah Witnesses, homosexuals, Polish and Russian prisoners of conflict. The victims numbered within the tens of millions.”

Magnaud shared many extra particulars about ideas and actions of Hitler and the Nazis earlier than and throughout the conflict. Interspersed have been three performances by the string quartet:

• Kol Nidre composed by John Zorn

• Adagio for Strings composed by Samuel Barber

• String Quartet No. 3, motion 4 composed by Szymon Laks

The final piece was the primary piece of music Laks – a survivor of Auschwitz and Dachau focus camps – wrote after fleeing to Paris, Elliott mentioned. Laks stopped writing music for a number of years, he added.

Throughout a Q & A session a number of college students mentioned they favored the final choice one of the best. It had a sooner tempo and was extra upbeat than the earlier ones.

There’s a huge spectrum of high quality within the Violins of Hope assortment, Elliott mentioned. Some are solely in items to protect what was written on the within, he famous.

SMMS Principal Caroline Luce requested the scholars to mirror on the character trait of integrity that the college has been specializing in, of how that helps to be extra compassionate. She famous the current hate crimes at the highschool.

“We’re not going to repeat these errors,” Luce harassed.

Afterwards Sims famous the distinction it was to be a guardian of an instrument another person had owned and cared for. “It is rather acceptable to take a seat down, be very nonetheless and ask permission to play,” she mentioned. These devices which come from a time of hatred are valued, she acknowledged. You will need to acknowledge that, it touches the center, she mentioned.

“There’s extra to the story than entering into the shallow finish of the pool,” she added.


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