Following Walnut Hill's Non Nobis Solum spirit, cellist Drake Driscoll has recently embarked on a new endeavor, using her art to help others. Thank you to Drake for sharing the below information about her musical collective, VISION!
VISION is a musical collective founded by executive director and cellist Drake Driscoll, violinist Timothy Chooi, and violist Sarah Sung. The VISION Collective formed in 2018 at the Juilliard School. Our current project, "Music for Harmony," aims to build meaningful relationships with and among refugees and new Americans by sharing and exchanging music between diverse communities. We aim to create a personal connection with each of our audience members, offering them an outlet to express themselves and celebrate their roots. Our sessions have a "sounds of home" theme. At our workshops, we talk to refugees/immigrants about the music from their home countries. We focus mostly on traditional songs from their cultures, songs that they listened to growing up, and sounds that remind them of their home countries. After the initial meeting, we collaborate with fellow Juilliard composers to research and prepare music that reflects our conversations with each refugee/immigrant. On the second visit, VISION returns to the venue and offers a concert where we share pieces that remind us of home, as well as pieces we have prepared for the refugees and immigrants. Each concert highlights a different group of refugees/immigrants, and we give each of them an opportunity to speak about the music from their home country if they wish. The goal of this project is to create a unique, collaborative workshop where both VISION and the refugees/immigrants are all learning and growing from one another.
On the local level, VISION currently has residencies at Building One Community and YMCA New Americans Initiative (Flushing location). This summer, VISION will be traveling to Germany to visit refugee camps. The tour will be in partnership with Concerts for Compassion: a like-minded enterprise by recent Juilliard graduates, Mariella Haubs and Jocelyn Zhu, who have been fantastic colleagues and mentors. This trip is partially funded by the George J. Jakab Global Enrichment Project Grant awarded to the VISION Collective by the Juilliard School. The rest of our travel costs will be covered by donations received through our GoFundMe campaign.
Future goals include establishing a board and applying for nonprofit status. The hope is that we will eventually have enough funds to travel to refugee camps around the world.