Text by: Lydia Ponticel, 11th grade, Cornell School District
Photo by: Christian Snyder, 10th grade, Riverview Jr./Sr. High School
At the One Young World 2012 Summit’s opening ceremony, young delegates from over 180 counties were present. Thinking of all of the countries, one wouldn’t guess that there are hundreds of languages spoken. Even though it is a requirement that the delegates understand and speak English, there’s another language that everyone understands: music.
Stevie Wonder said, “Music is a world within itself, with a language we all understand.” Nothing can bring together such a diverse group of youth better than music. No matter our mouths and dialects, we all understand what music speaks. We all experience the cheerful notes dancing through our ears and grieve along with long, melancholic tones.
The musical performances enlivened the spirit of the opening ceremony with phenomenal performances. The Pittsburgh Symphony performed three classical songs, and closed with Coldplay’s Grammy-winning hit, Viva la Vida. Maestro Hannick conducted and truly evoked the spirit of the evening with joy, even hugging the concertmaster.
Following the PSO was the youth voices of the Bel Canto group of the Children’s Festival Chorus. These talented kids, in second grade through ninth grade, began with a lively song entitled I Want to Sing. This selection was perfect for One Young World, which is all about empowering youth voices to make change. Song lyrics explained how determined they are to sing about peace and justice. At the end of their enegerized performance, the crowd responded with a standing ovation, responding in like to the energy of the children.
There could not have been a better closing musical performance than the soulful voice of Joss Stone. She performed Newborn and ended with Right to be Wrong. Along with performing, she also spoke at the summit on Friday. While speaking, she shared, “Music has the ability to carry a message or feeling in a way that can break down barriers.” All of the musical guests were warriors for this idea – the One Young World spirit of hope for a better world.