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Young U.S. Musicians Wow Audiences in Diverse Neighborhoods

Young U.S. Musicians Wow Audiences in Diverse Neighborhoods

Sphinx musicians in Rotterdam. Photo: State Dept.

Sphinx musicians in Rotterdam. Photo: State Dept.

Cellist Khari Joyner and violinist Gareth Johnson perform in Amsterdam. Photo: John Adams Institute

Cellist Khari Joyner and violinist Gareth Johnson perform in Amsterdam. Photo: John Adams Institute

U.S. Embassy The Hague collaborated with The Leer Orchestra of the Netherlands and U.S. non-profit Sphinx, to bring two young African American musicians to conduct classical music workshops in minority schools in Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

The well-known Leer Orchestra (endorsed by Dutch Princess Maxima) and Sphinx (honored at the White House) are committed to promoting music in children’s education, especially in minority schools.

Gareth Johnson (violin) and Khari Joyner (cello) visited the Netherlands for a week, performing concerts and classical music workshops in six schools to packed auditorium and classrooms. The program reached approximately 1000 students, mainly from immigrant communities representing over 40 countries, including Morocco, Turkey, Ghana, and Suriname.

The free concerts drew in additional students, their families and the neighboring communities for music, refreshments and discussion.

The highly successful week closed with two additional concerts, on Saturday and Sunday, in which the young Americans performed with a Dutch pianist, underlining the vibrant cultural cooperation between the U.S. and the Netherlands.

The children prepared gifts for the American musicians and made them promise to return soon.