Yesterday, we did two performances of The Orchestra Moves with the Charleston Symphony at the new Gaillard Center. One more today. By all measures, they were successful shows. The students were well-prepared, and the orchestra played brilliantly. It is a lovely new concert hall; the acoustics are terrific.
But the overriding thought I had during yesterday's performances was how important it is to have a place where different schools from all over the Lowcountry can come and sit together. Just share the same space with a common purpose. There were schools from Summerville and North Charleston, from McClellanville, and James Island -- and from Buist Academy just next door. And yes, it's true that there are still schools that are predominantly black and predominantly white, but there are also schools where there is a pretty even mix, and LinkUp has a lovely way of making the playing field even. Prepared is prepared. If you know your music, you are in the game. Students and teachers can tell who knows their songs and who can sing in one or two or three parts. And when the kids were all singing in Portuguese to the strains of "Cidade Maravillhosa," yes, it was a Brazilian samba party, but it was also a moment of shared artistic achievement. How often do different schools have a chance at that?