Musical Tributes to Boston by PS 22 Chorus, Neil Diamond, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

There’s nothing like music to bring solace in the wake of a disaster. Over the past week, the PS 22 Chorus, Neil Diamond, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra each paid a musical tribute to Bostonians in the wake of the tragic April 15 marathon bombings.

Staten Island’s PS 22 fifth-grade chorus, best known for their performance of “Over the Rainbow” at the 2011 Oscars, published a video performance of Dave Loggins’s “Please Come to Boston”. Chorus director Gregg Breinberg wrote on the ensemble’s YouTube channel, “PS 22 chorus sending its love, hope, and prayers to the people and the Boston area in this loving tribute. A needed reminder that there is good in the world in the midst of these devastating times.”

Iconic singer Neil Diamond surprised fans at Boston’s Fenway Park on Saturday, April 20 with a performance of the Red Sox’s unofficial anthem, “Sweet Caroline”. Before he sang, he announced to fans, “What an honor it is for me to be here today! I bring love from the whole country.”

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra dedicated their April 16 performance of Bach’s Mass in B minor to the victims of the Boston marathon bombings. Music director Riccardo Muti shared a message of peace prior to the performance.

…Tonight…we perform…the big work of Bach [Mass in B Minor]. It’s one of the greatest monuments of music and of the culture of mankind. The piece ends with ‘Dona nobis pacem,’ which means ‘Give us Peace.’  But the problem is that Bach didn’t mean only give us eternal peace, but give us peace on Earth. And violence is something that is increasing around the world.

I think that we musicians try to help with our music, which brings harmony and love and brotherhood to the world, but we can do just our part.  We can do something that can help throughout the world through music that reaches without words, so to speak, from heart to heart.

Before we perform the Mass, we—my colleagues of the Orchestra and members of the Chorus—want to dedicate it to the victims of the tragedy in Boston and would like to ask you for a moment of concentration and silence. Please stand. [Pause.]  Thank you.”

Videos of the PS 22 Chorus and Neil Diamond are available below.

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