Violins of Hope


On October 22, the FCHS Orchestra room was home to a remarkable educational and cultural event.  The “Violins of Hope” project, an international tour featuring instruments used by Jewish musicians during the Holocaust, made a visit to Floyd Central High School.  Avshalom Weinstein, one of the Israeli luthiers and curators of the 30-instrument collection, gave a compelling talk and presentation to FC Orchestra students and visiting faculty, students, and community members.

 The presentation concluded with the FC Symphony Orchestra Strings performing the theme from “Schindler’s List”, an Academy Award-winning score by John Williams. During the performance, our co-Concertmasters Mia Lozado and Elliott Lonnemann got to perform the famous solo violin part on one of the violins in the collection, actually laying hands on history.

  All the instruments in the VOH collection belonged to Jews before and during the war.  Many were donated by or bought from survivors; some arrived through family members and many simply carry Stars of David as a decoration and an identity tag declaring: we were played by proud klezmers.

 All the instruments have a common denominator: they had to do with the war. To be more specific, they had to do with the holocaust - death or survival.  And hope.  All instruments were symbols of hope and a way to say: remember me, remember us.  Life is good, celebrate it for those who perished, for those who survived.  For all people.

Violin-makers Amnon and Avshalom Weinstein, father and son, who work in Tel Aviv and Istanbul own this collection, have dedicated their expertise and endless love to ensuring that those instruments, most of which were rather cheap and unsophisticated, get a new beautiful make-over.   We at Floyd Central High School were extremely fortunate to be part of this very significant project.

  Later that week, the FCHS Symphony Orchestra students travelled to the Kentucky Center for the Arts to experience Jeffrey Jamner’s  Juliek’s Violin, a multi-artist program drawing on a reading from “Night” by Elie Weisel, a movement from Beethoven’s violin concerto, a Chopin piano prelude, and a movement from the Verdi Requiem.  The students were taken in by the power of the performances and the powerful narrative read by Mr. Jamner.


Violins of Hope featured on The Scoop- Floyd Central High School TV 

(the first 6 minutes of the episode)


Photo Gallery



           Violins of Hope field trip.