Humanity vs Hate

There are no words to do this justice.

For so long, heinous acts of violence have assailed our newsfeeds from locations worldwide. Ukraine, South Sudan, Myanmar, Syria, and the list grows on in seemingly endless streams from cable news. And for many, these events seem far away from the safety of our homes.

Then they strike closer — Uvalde, Sandy Hook, Orlando, Las Vegas, Manhattan, Aurora, Highland Park, Boulder, Colorado Springs — and we feel our humanity shattered once again by a gunman’s bullet. Today in Colorado Springs, we woke to the news of an attacker opening fire in a peaceful public gathering. At least five murders, many more wounded, and a tale of bravery from some who intervened to save lives.

Headlines may focus on the gathering — Club Q, a nightclub established in 2002 serving the LGBTQ+ community. The news may focus on the suspect, his motivation, what kind of gun was used, or whether this constitutes a hate crime. These questions will be answered.

But for the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, we are focused on humanity. The humanity of those lost, those who suffer, those who may feel on the fringes of our community. The human cost of hate and wanton violence. And the very human impulse to care for a neighbor, reach out a hand, and overcome a tragedy as a community.

On behalf of the many musicians, leaders, volunteers, administrators and patrons of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, we offer love for the victims and those who are grieving. We stand with the peaceful and the champions of justice. We honor the first responders and the Club Q guests who subdued their attacker. We call on our leaders to end these acts of evil. And we stand firmly for resilience in the face of violence.

“We musicians, like everyone else, are numb with sorrow and with rage at the senselessness of the crime. But this sorrow and rage will not inflame us to seek retribution; rather they will inflame our art. Our music will never again be quite the same. This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.”

Leonard Bernstein
Nov. 25, 1963, days after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Jr.