Buffalo String Works hopes to bridge the gap with refugee community through concert series


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – An organization called Buffalo String Works is launching a new concert series with a special part of the city in mind – immigrants and refugees.

Music is the universal language for the dozens of kids in the program. Many of them are new to this city and even this country.

Elise Golove, the music teacher at the school and Buffalo String Works co-founder, received funding to engage musicians, which includes co-founders, Yuki Numata Resnick and Virginia Barron, to play for her students. Numata Resnick said, “Studying any art, it’s about inspiration and the beauty of it, but it’s also about the hard work and commitment that our students have learned so much about.”

Students come from P.S.45 in Buffalo, where more than 50 different languages are spoken. They learn and practice after school with volunteers. She said, “We realized that there was a need in the city to provide instrumental music lessons. With budget cuts, public schools aren’t able to do that for their students.”

Nearly 80 students have gone through the string works program so far.  And now the group is launching a free concert series called “The Bridge”.

The idea is to bridge gaps within the refugee community and between the community and buffalo itself. She said, “We will present across the artistic disciplines: music, dance, film and the programming will always include a nod toward our newcomers.”Saturday’s concert “Between Two Worlds” showcases Decoda, an internationally acclaimed, New York City-based chamber collective.

The group will perform with the students: Sharing stories and infusing music in every lesson. Resnick said, “We’re here to partner with people to create a welcoming place to extend that welcoming hand to newcomers.”

To learn more about Buffalo String Works, head to their website here. 

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