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Iraqi Youth Orchestra Cancels American Trip
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Iraqi Youth Orchestra Cancels American Trip

By ALLAN KOZINN  JUNE 19, 2014 4:23 PM

For the 43 teenage musicians of the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq, it was a dream about to come true: the ensemble, formed by the Iraqi pianist Zuhal Sultan in 2008, was planning to visit the United States this summer to work a similarly constituted American group, the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra, of Elgin, Ill., and then to perform in Elgin, Washington, D.C., Chicago and possibly New York (a concert was in the planning stages).

But the instability in Iraq has forced the orchestra to cancel the trip.

“We had a wonderful model,” said Rachel Maley, an alumnus of the Elgin ensemble who now works for the orchestra in various capacities, and is the project manager for the visit. “The orchestra was to arrive in Elgin at the end of July, and spend three weeks working with our orchestra before going on tour. Fifteen of our string players were going to travel with them, for artistic and musical support as well as cultural exchange, which was an important part of the tour.”

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