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“The Taliban deprived children of their music,” he said. “It was like a genocide of music. Now this is an incredible way of showing pride in our people, our youth, our school, our country.”
He said the school, which is funded by the World Bank and others, is free and provides enough of a stipend to keep the musicians off the streets. And it accepts boys and girls, another reversal of Taliban orders.
Amedee Williams, who heads the Scarsdale music program, said he heard last year that the Afghan school was trying to raise funds for a tour. He contacted the school and suggested their orchestra members could save on New York hotels by staying with Scarsdale families. That turned out not to be necessary, but it forged a partnership that resulted in the Scarsdale orchestra joining the Afghans at Carnegie Hall.
Before the joint orchestra rehearsed on Sunday, he said, all the youngsters had pizza. Afterward, they went ice skating, which was a new activity for the Afghans “and some of the Scarsdale kids,” Williams said.
“There was a lot of hand-holding, supporting each other,” he said. “It was good to see.”
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