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Portland cellist among young musicians across the globe bringing comfort and peace

Kira Wang, of Portland, is one of 24 cellists acknowledging difficult times but giving hope through 'The Swan Project.'

PORTLAND, Ore. — Crowds have been dwindling and cities quieting across the country because of social distancing, and life has become a bit more virtual. Kira Wang is a sophomore at the Catlin Gabel School in Portland. Today, she’s a student trying to adjust to online learning, but you may be familiar with her musical talents.

Last year, Kira- a cellist- was selected to play with the Portland Youth Philharmonic at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. 

“I participated in their annual concerto competition and I was selected to play a piece called ‘Schelomo’ by Ernest Bloch,” said Wang. “My favorite part about music is getting to share it with audiences.”

Used to playing in front of audiences, Kira and 23 other cellists across 12 countries came together for a different type of performance. 

“Each cellist is playing a small passage from ‘The Swan’ by Camille Saint-Saëns,” she said.

Lately, you may have seen a lot of videos on social media, that are still plucking at heartstrings—from a distance. Kira says Cameron Chiu and Brandon Cheng were the ones behind putting together a virtual orchestra called The Swan Project, and posting the video to his YouTube page.

“These times are difficult right now and it was a big goal to be able to serve as some comfort using the skills that we have as musicians for people who may feel isolated, and give thanks to all the workers who are working really hard,” said Wang.

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Until our streets are busy again and the noise returns, Kira hopes their song of comfort will help people realize that although we are separated, we can still come together.

“We can get through this, and it definitely requires people to cooperate with each other and be able to work through this as a group and not any individual," she said.

RELATED: Watch an orchestra seamlessly perform 'Bolero' from quarantine