Danko Drusko, orchestral conducting student at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, has partnered with several organizations to produce Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (“Resurrection”) as a fundraiser for The Villages, Indiana’s largest not-for-profit child and family services agency.
The massive event—featuring approximately 135 orchestra members, 110 chorus members and two soloists, most of them Jacobs School of Music students—will take place at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 28, in the Indiana Memorial Union’s Alumni Hall, on the Bloomington campus.
Tickets are $5 in advance or $7 at the door, cash only, and may be purchased at www.dankodrusko.com/hoosier-philharmonic.html.
There will be opportunities during part of the almost 90-minute work for some audience members to sit among the orchestra members in order to have a more “up-close-and-personal” experience.
Drusko’s Croatian father was abandoned by his parents at age six. He lived on the streets, surviving however he could, including sleeping in trees, busking as a boy soprano, accepting food from nuns in exchange for praying with them and doing hard physical labor on farms and elsewhere. He died in 1996.
“I wanted to do something meaningful in honor of the tenth anniversary of his death—to do something good for kids that might be in a similar situation,” said Drusko. “I thought of this, and it’s had a snowball effect. Lots of people want to be part of the project.”
Among the concert’s collaborators are the National Association for Music Education, Union Board and the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra.
Since April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and close to 20,000 children were removed from Indiana homes for abuse or neglect in 2015, the event is especially fitting.
It is reported that Mahler himself was born into an abusive household and had a traumatic childhood.