Yo-Yo Ma’s Emotional Performance With One Wounded Warrior

[ 0 ] November 11, 2013 |

Yo-Yo Ma is perhaps the best-known cellist of our time. And one wounded warrior got the chance of a lifetime to sing along with Ma as he performed “America the Beautiful” in Aspen, Colo., at the 2013 Aspen Ideas Festival.

Marine Lance Corporal Tim Donley, who lost both of his legs and severely injured his arm after being wounded by an improvised explosive device (IED) in Afghanistan, sang a touching rendition of the patriotic tune with Ma on the cello, composer and Renovation in Music Education (RIME) founder Arthur Bloom – who also launched MusiCorps, a rehabilitative program for injured combat veterans – on the piano, and opera soprano Camille Zamora singing along. In fact, Donley regularly sings with Ma as part of the MusiCorps Wounded Warrior Band.

Watch this emotional moment of song at the Aspen Ideas Festival, below:


Cellist Yo-Yo Ma with Lance Corporal Tim Donley

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Musicorps is an intensive music rehabilitation program that helps those wounded in combat recover their lives. The program replicates “real world” music relationships so that injured veterans are motivated to work on goal-oriented projects many hours a day. It utilizes specially-assembled computer-based music workstations along with traditional instruments, so that wounded warriors can learn, play, write, record, and produce original material. The act of creating is a type of therapy for many, and can also aid in the recover from war-related trauma, including PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and TBI (traumatic brain injury).

Ma has been performing with the wounded warriors through Musicorps, and leads workshops to help the wounded at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center learn how to play and sing with their injuries.The MusiCorps Wounded Warrior Band has performed with Ma at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and Army-Navy football games, and they have also shared the stage with Roger Waters (Pink Floyd) and GE Smith (SNL Band), as well as John Mayer and even Jersey Boy Bruce Springsteen.

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Category: Aspen Ideas Festival 2013, Videos

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About Arthur Bloom: RIME was founded by composer Arthur Bloom. Bloom holds a literature degree from Yale College, and music degrees from Juilliard and the Yale School of Music. His experience as a composer in a variety of [...]
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