15th October 2018
The orchestra of blind children: I don’t need sympathy, I just can’t see
They can’t see the music sheets, nor any of the instruments.
Yet they play grand music pieces together, almost flawlessly with their trumpets, flutes and clarinets.
This is the miracle created by the Chongqing Yangfan Wind Band of Blind Children.
Founded in 2011 and consisting entirely of visually impaired children, the band is the largest of its kind in China, and the first to perform on the international stage. These children have performed with China National Symphony Orchestra and the PLA Military Band respectively at the National Center for the Performing Arts and the Chongqing Grand Theatre.
It all started with a show 8 years ago.
Li Longmei was then the headmaster of Chongqing School for the Blind (now Chongqing Special Education Center). Back in 2010, she took all the 286 blind students of the school to a symphony concert at the Chongqing People’s Auditorium. On their way back, those children couldn’t wait to share their thoughts: “I recognized the sound of a trumpet,” “The pianist wasn’t that good.”
To Li’s total surprise, the students had all heard of the Western instruments, but never had the chance to play.