Students Use the Healing Power of Music to Overcome Tragedy
In 2009, Typhoon Morakot struck Taiwan, causing billions of dollars worth of damage and leaving hundreds dead. Liouguei High School authorities set up a choir to help school children get back on their feet following the calamity. Volunteer conductor Chen Chun-chih said, “I was shocked by the children’s empty eyes when I visited Liouguei for the first time.” He added that because Liouguei is fairly isolated and rural, local children didn't have many places to go and spent much of their time at Internet cafes and convenience stores.
At first Chen found it difficult to get the children to practice, and while most of the children were good singers, not many of them could read music. Chen had to sing each line to the children, and they would repeat it until they learned the song. Two years after the choir’s formation, they won first prize in the National Competition of Folk Songs for Teachers and Students. They also performed a homecoming concert for residents in Liouguei, who gave them a standing ovation and were moved to tears.
The choir children and school faculty are saving their money for a trip to Japan, which was devastated by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011. Chen hopes to use “music’s healing power” to offer support and strengthen the spirits of disaster victims.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is also dedicated to the universal language of music that has the power to bring joy, peace, and healing to its listeners. In 2011, for the tenth anniversary of 9/11, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square dedicated a special episode of their weekly broadcast to honor the memory of the fallen.
Watch 9/11: Rising Above, narrated by Tom Brokaw.