A saxophone and piano concert was held on Sunday, October 14th, 2018 at the Steinway Gallery of Detroit in support of and to raise awareness about assistance to refugees. USCRI Detroit’s Director, Tawfik Alazem, Chris Sacco, a saxophone performer, and the Steinway Society of Michigan planned to participate in this concert and to deliver a presentation to shed a light on refugee resettlement and the current challenges it faces. USCRI invited a client, Faisal, who arrived as a refugee two years.
During his attendance, Faisal spoke about his refugee resettlement experience and how greatly he appreciates the opportunity to live safely and peacefully in his new home, as well as how much he values the support and assistance he received from USCRI and the Dearborn community. He spoke about his success at work and school and his love of music and poetry.
USCRI Detroit Director spoke about the agency services, programs, and the community support to refugees in the Detroit area. He also spoke about the challenges that refugees are currently facing in regard to admission to the U.S., with many still waiting to be reunited with their loved ones. Alazem expressed USCRI’s deep disappointment with the recent decision to set the U.S. refugee resettlement ceiling at only 30,000 for Fiscal 2019, the lowest level in U.S. history. The agency director reminded the guests that we must adhere to our founding principles and our proud tradition of welcoming and protecting refugees.
The culmination of the event was Chris Sacco and Yaroslav Gnezdilov taking up their wonderful performance. Music consisted of standards for classical saxophone and piano along with transcriptions (for saxophone) of vocal works, as well as the famous Carmen flute fantasy. Sacco also played works by John Secunde (“Different Arks”) and Jared Yackiw (“Rubble Resolve”) that he’d had composed for saxophone in honor of Syrian refugees. As a whole, all involved hoped to raise awareness of the reasons why refugees are resettling and why it is important to approach this situation with both understanding and care.