Overcoming Adversity
  True Inspirational Stories Give Us Renewed Hope and Optimism Once in a while the unexpected crosses our path. We witness events - true inspirational stories - which elevate us from the ordinary to the extraordinary, touching our souls at the very deepest level. Earlier this week I experienced such an event, filling me with joy and strengthening my belief in the inherent goodness of humanity. Background In order to do justice to this inspiring story, allow me to briefly outline the context. Being a lover of both traditional and popular classical music, I have developed a passion for the wonderful “Johann Strauss Orchestra”, led by its founder,  conductor and violist par excellence, Andre Rieu. He and his 60 member orchestra regularly perform at concerts across the globe, and follow a tradition of holding an annual concert in his home town of Maastricht in the Netherlands. This annual event – for some 5,000 people - is recorded on video, and released a day or two later to movie theatres around the world, for just two showings. I attended the first of these earlier this week, and it was there  that I witnessed one of life's most uplifting stories. The Announcement The three-hour performance was, for me, an absolutely magical experience, culminating (about 15 minutes before the end) in an announcement by Andre Rieu that he had invited another orchestra - called the Jostiband Orchestra - to join him on stage. This, he explained, was an orchestra with a difference, in that all the members were mentally challenged adults. Under the loving and watchful eye of their conductor, approximately 25 of these individuals proceeded to join Andre and his Johann Strauss ...
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