The holidays are a time of joy and cheer, and during the “most wonderful time of the year” our team at Fletcher Marketing PR reflects on our clients’ projects that bring goodwill. We’re honored to promote our clients’ good news by raising awareness for their considerable accomplishments like new store openings, expanded product and service offerings or community involvement. In addition to the milestones and developments our clients achieve, we’re also fortunate to work with area nonprofits and charity events that provide a positive impact for the community at large.
Every once in a while, we have the privilege to work on a project that incites strong emotion in our team. The most recent project is Violins of Hope: Strings of the Holocaust, a life-changing program hosted by the Stanford Eisenberg Knoxville Jewish Day School. The program is set to come to Knoxville next month—in January of 2019.
This is how the program began…
Nearly 50 years ago, Amnon Weinstein, an Israeli master violin maker and restorer was visited by a Holocaust survivor who brought him a violin for restoration. The man survived the Holocaust because his job was to play the violin while Nazi soldiers marched others to their deaths. When Amnon opened the violin’s case, he saw ashes. He thought of his own relatives who had perished and was overwhelmed. Amnon put out a call for violins from the Holocaust that would restore in hopes that the instruments would sound again, and Violins of Hope was born.
These violins played an important role for their owners. For many, it provided comfort and hope in mankind’s darkest hour, and in other cases it was a liberator. Each violin has its own compelling story that is insightful and moving, providing a new way of understanding the Holocaust, and through education, ensuring a tragedy of this magnitude never happens again.
On January 23 and 24, the Knoxville and East Tennessee community and surrounding regions have the opportunity to hear these violins once silenced by the Holocaust sound again through performances with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. The two evenings of poignant music will take place at the historic Tennessee Theatre, interwoven with commentary by Hallerin Hilton Hill as the incredible stories of the violins are told. It’s an emotional journey not to be missed.
In lead up to the performances, the violins will be on display at the University of Tennessee Downtown Gallery from January 4 through 27 for visitors to view, learn and contemplate this singular collection of instruments. Visitors enter intimately scaled rooms designed to impact a sense of respectful dignity, encouraging engagement and reflection. The exhibition is designed by renowned exhibit architect Louis Emmanuel Gauci, who happens to live in Knoxville.
The education component of Violins of Hope will also provide a significant impact. Over 10,000 students in the Greater Knoxville area will have the chance to experience the program through school visits and field trips. In fact, Avshi Weinstein, Amnon’s son and a co-founder of Violins of Hope, will be traveling to Knoxville to bring the violins into schools and speak to students. Performances of selected works played on the actual instruments by Knoxville Symphony musicians will give students a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear the once-silenced violins. For students at schools who do not have programs planned, parents are encouraged to bring their children to the performances or visit the exhibition. A Violins of Hope education guide can be downloaded through the website.
For our team at Fletcher, our work promoting this event simply isn’t “work.” We’re excited to spread the word and ensure the surrounding communities are aware of this event so that community members and families can take advantage of this amazing opportunity, and the stories and lessons of these violins can be told.
We encourage you to take part in the Violins of Hope experience and attend one of the transformative performances with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra on January 23 or 24 at 7 p.m. at the Tennessee Theatre. The tickets start at only $40 and can be purchased here. Tickets are the perfect holiday gift for music, art or history enthusiasts, or as an educational opportunity for children and teens, and provide a lasting, memorable experience. For more information on Violins of Hope, visit violinsofhopeknox.com.