Saturday evening, my wife and I were honored and delighted to attend a gala celebrating the 25th year of the Zoellner Arts Center at Lehigh University—my graduate school alma mater. It was a special moment because no galas were held since 2019 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
No doubt the past three years have been a trying time for everyone around the world. We have all experienced moments of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness as we grapple with the new reality of living with the virus. But in these dark times, there have also been moments of collective effervescence that remind us that amidst the darkness, there is still collective good to be found and heard.
One such call for harmony was heard on April 17th, 2020 when Broadway star Brian Stokes Mitchell sang “The Quest” from his apartment window in New York City while neighbors, then gathering crowds listened from below. He did so to honor the physicians, nurses, supermarket employees, delivery personnel, emergency medical services paramedics, and law enforcement officers. who were the heroes in responding to this crisis. Mitchell himself was recovering from COVID-19 at the time. The powerful performance filled our hearts with hope and reminded us of the indomitable human spirit even in the face of adversity.
Throughout each evening performance over several days in 2020, Mitchell remained strong and uplifting, ensuring that his voice would reach those who needed it the most. His rendition of “The Quest” was a powerful reminder to never give up no matter how hard times may be. As he sang out his message of hope, it was clear that this amazing moment in time was so much more than just a song. It was an opportunity for us all to come together and find strength in unity during this difficult period—to “dream the impossible dream” together.
Brian Stokes Mitchell’s performance on Saturday night at Zoellner and each of those 2020 evenings from his Manhattan apartment served as a beautiful reminder that though dark times may come; we will always find solace in the beauty of music. It also showed us that with enough courage and resilience, even something as simple as singing from our windows can bring people around the world together.
Here’s a great version of his performance: https://youtu.be/TZBLAmdULkQ. It’s worth four minutes of your time. Have a wonderful week filled with possibilities!