WFAO is deeply saddened by the recent tragic events in Nepal. Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by this disaster, especially to the friends and family of our local WFAO members. Below you will find a firsthand description of Bidur Sharma Gautam, founder of Crescendo International Orchestra. It is my hope that all of our members will reach out to Bidur and his fellow Nepalese musicians in any way we can, to help them rebuild from this devastating catastrophe.
On behalf of the entire WFAO board,
David Ramael, Chairman WFAO
Dear WFAO friends,
On Saturday, April 25, 2015 a magnitude of 7.8 centered less than 50 miles from Kathmandu rocked Nepal with devastating force. The earthquake and its aftershocks turned one of the world’s scenic regions into a panorama of devastation killing and injuring thousands. The epicenter was the village of Barpak, Gorkha District and its hypo-center was at a depth of 9.3 miles. The earthquake also triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest, killing at least 19 and making it a dark day on the mountain in the history. Additionally, it triggered another avalanche in the Langtang valley where 250 were reported missing. Entire historical buildings, national monuments in Kathmandu and nearby areas are all lost and homes near the epicenter are all flattened.
According to Nepal Police, till date, death toll reached 7765 and 15911 injured. Many bodies have been still thought to be buried inside the rubble. Heartbreaking scenes suffering and loss are playing out across this shell-shocked nation as it reeled from its deadliest natural disaster in more than 80 years. While the nation is crying at this biggest shock ever, many international aids from all around the globe are bringing a relief to the Nepalese survivors at this moment.
Experience during the earthquake
While we (four violinists: Bidur Sharma Gautam, Raj Kumar Shrestha, Bal Gopal Maharjan and Sudhakar Wasti ) were playing violin inside the recording studio to record a patriotic song of a popular singer Sishir Yogi(also a violinist of orchestra), and suddenly, there was a unprecedented violent shaking inside the room. We noticed that it must have been a terrible earthquake that hit our country. It was expected that a terrible earthquake will hit within seven years time. We rushed out of the studio in no time and called to our families. We moved onto the main road and saw Kathmandu was moving to and fro in north-south direction. We knew that at least our families were safe. It took several days to cool down and wait for a normal life to begin.
Musical Life Continues
The earthquake is still having a psychological effect in all Nepalese people. Since the epicenter is moving from time to time, many still have a fear that another big earthquake might come again. Shocks still have not faded away. Magnitude of 5 is still hitting Nepal. However, in this situation Nepalese juveniles are working together in different groups to rescue the survivors. We have a spirit of building our nation again. We have a feeling that “WE WILL RISE AGAIN”.
No any injuries and casualties in our orchestra members is reported till now. They all are safe with their families. Some are already on their work while some are waiting for their work to start again.
After this natural disaster, I hope music will bring some kind of relief for Nepalese people. In September, we are running a project for Crescendo International Orchestra(CIO) with support of Norwegian Youth Orchestra Association which will bring some hope to the Nepalese people through music. We are conducting a one week intensive training of music and perform a concert at the end. In this project, around 15 young musicians together with two professors from Norway will perform together with Nepalese youths in a concert hall. My belief is that this project would be something like “Music for Relief” and it will help survivors to recover from their psychological pressure and rebuild them again.
I would like to express my gratitude to WFAO and Norwegian Youth Orchestra Association for expressing your deep concern and being with us together during this tragedy. I really appreciate your help. Now, we are all in the process of recovering. But, I am sure at the moment, the orchestra movement(September project) in Nepal will be one of the best things ever to recover the lives and hopes of Nepalese society. So, we have already started to work for this.
Bidur Sharma Gautam
Founder and Acting Director
Crescendo International Orchestra(CIO)