The 2016 Music Without Borders concert was a celebration of music from around the world, played by some of Canada's best youth musicians. The evening began with a fusion of traditional Indian Carnatic and Western music and a hand-drumming song sung by an all-Nations group, Red Rhythm. Bakudan Taiko ended the evening with its own offering of traditional drumming, this time from Japan. Ravel's bluesy violin sonata led into a thrilling scherzo for piano by Chopin, while David Popper's cello quartet was a celebration of the beautiful sound of that instrument. The virtuosic violin solo piece "Zigeunerweisen" or "Gypsy Airs" by Sarasate contrasted with a piano quartet playing a boisterous fantasy on themes from Bizet's "Carmen." The sound of jazz brought another dimension to the concert, culminating in an original composition played by the Carter Brodkorb Quartet. Three other original compositions were also featured, as soundtracks to the video "Let's Be Humanitarians" and as a Music Without Borders theme song that ended off the evening.
The migrant crisis in the Middle East, specifically Syria, has become a worldwide issue. No longer can we say, “Oh, I can’t do anything about that because it is far, far away from here.” The world has become smaller, and more and more now, others’ troubles and sufferings have become our troubles and sufferings. The people of Europe, though they used to think they were far away from and detached from the issues in the Middle East, now realize that the problems and troubles of the area of the Fertile Crescent are much closer to them than they thought. The Syrian refugees, migrating and flooding up through Turkey and southern Europe, are desperate for a chance to escape the conflict happening near their homes. According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), there are at least 7.6 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Syria, as of July 2015. Consider the fact that this information is already a few months old, and that the conflict in this area has probably escalated. More and more of these IDP’s will want to come to the West, to Europe. This issue has become worldwide, and humanity has to work together to solve it, because if we don’t, millions of people will not only be let down, but also they will either die or be hurt in a conflict that they did nothing to provoke. We HAVE to work together, wherever we live, because soon this issue will spread to near us. MSF (Doctors Without Borders) is aiding in the effort to help refugees find shelter and temporary housing. If not actively helping, we should raise awareness and money for organizations fighting on the front lines of this battle. But this is also a global conflict, with many refugees fleeing from different places all around the world. We have to take action. —N.B.M.
We are starting the Music Without Borders 2016 Campaign! This year we will again fundraise for Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) to support their humanitarian efforts around the world. Buy tickets to our Toronto concert on Saturday April 2nd at 7:00pm, featuring keynote speaker Dr. James Orbinski, and donate to MSF before December 31st and get a 2015 charitable donation tax receipt.
Over the years, I have been interested in graphic design and I have learned a lot from many people, including my mother who is a graphic designer. I have learned that a good design needs to be interesting but simple. With time and practice I have become very passionate about design in general and graphic design in particular. My goal is to make websites visually appealing, accessible, and easy to use.
A few months ago my friend Benn, whom I have known for many years, contacted me about a project he was doing called “Music Without Borders”. It is a fundraising project in support of the organization Doctors Without Borders in its fight against the current Ebola Crisis in West Africa. The project needed a logo and graphic design. Another designer, Teo, who is also helping with the project had come up with the idea of merging the image of a globe with a musical note. I built on this idea and played around with it. Finally, our logo was created.
Helping the community and working as a team is not always easy. But when the work is done, it is worth it. To me this is a meaningful project because it shows that even a small group of middle and high schoolers can impact the community in a meaningful way. Once you see the impact of what you have worked so hard on, it is worth all the effort you put in. Something about working on this project and seeing it to the end makes me want to learn even more about design. I will keep working with Music Without Borders and continue to learn more about graphic design. I also plan to continue helping to contribute to the community in a variety of ways for many years to come.
— By Cale Waldheim
See a longer version of this article that is published in Connections: A newsletter for the Cambridge Friends School Community:
Video games are a big part of our culture. Like anything, video games can be a source of good or bad, depending on our choices. So we created an Arcade as a platform for youth to create and play video games that are socially conscientious. Since the current Ebola crisis is our focus right now, we have created games around the theme of Ebola fighting. We invite you to share with us any games you made that are fun and for a good cause!
MWB 2016 Update: The arcade also features a Minecraft Let's Play video!
Check out the arcade here: blog.musicwithoutborder.com/arcade
We all have to do our part to help the world, here is one way. Today, I am burning coconut shells on the backyard barbecue to make charcoal. Why? For my science fair project I’m attempting to create a water filter out of all local materials from the Amazon Rainforest. I was inspired by a life-changing journey I went on in September 2014 to Ecuador. This adventure was with Me to We and Free the Children who work to provide better lives for children in developing countries. Although it was a volunteer service trip with hard work, it was nothing other than rewarding. Even when I was carrying bricks under the blistering mid day sun with almost 100 percent humidity, I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it because I knew I was helping to give these children an education and more opportunities in life. And even when I was dripping in sweat and completely exhausted, I would still give the little kids wheelbarrow rides because they made me realize how a simple gesture can change the world, and that laughing is a universal language. In these Amazonian villages they don’t have clean water, which causes illness and parasites in the children. That is why I’m making a water filter that they can easily source and build for themselves at almost no cost. That is why I’m burning coconuts on a Sunday afternoon.
— by M.F.D.
If you want to be part of youth action, be willing
For service is like food –
You never have your filling
The power of will has
Since we are youth we have unlimited potential
Our brains eagerly want to do good and
Making change for the better is a
Doing good is like a speck of light – it’s essential
Don’t let the dark swallow you up
For they could use you against good
And you would be like a helpless pup
So take a stand and have courage to rise up
All Youth have the potential to think beyond all
For serving the world
– By S.J.M.