JOPLIN, Mo -- For more than ten years the Missouri State Symphony Orchestra has hosted concerts featuring local high school string orchestras. This year is special. It is the first time the concert has been used as a fundraiser.
The Joplin Orchestra lost most of their instruments, all of their music, and the place they practice. Now, like many students in Joplin, they have to go to another school to practice.
"We're practicing here because our other high school was completely destroyed," explained Joplin Orchestra Violist Quinton Anderson.
"We're not at the same place as the rest of my classes," said Joplin Orchestra Violinist Sarah Kessler, "so I have to drive between orchestra and the rest of my school day."
"About 75 percent of my students lost their instruments in the school," said Joplin Orchestra Director Kylee Tripoli.
A great poet once said, "music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life." Everyday life for members of the Joplin Orchestra is filled with the dust of tragedy. That tragedy now defines their town.
"I'm actually lucky to be alive," said Quinton Anderson, "the tornado destroyed my house, killed my parents, and put me in the hospital for 5 ½ weeks."
From that tragedy, inspiration was born. "If you think about it," said Quinton, "we're another inspirational comeback. We lost a lot of instruments, our school got destroyed, but yet we are still here practicing every day."
"I think it has pushed them to work harder," said Tripoli, "and prove what they can do. "
From Tchaikovsky to Lady Gaga, each note played is filled with passion and resolve. The students are doing more than just a practice session. It's preparation for something big.