Hsi Lai Temple’s Buddha’s Light Youth Symphony Orchestra (BLYSO) performed on August 23 in the Main Hall of the Buddha Memorial Center.
The symphony orchestra played Buddhist songs including The Song of Fo Guang Shan and Ode to Venerable Master as well as western songs including Pomp and Circumstance and Rondo Aus Dem Te Deum to demonstrate cultural exchange and the universal nature of music. Transcending the boundaries of language and ethnicity, it actualized Venerable Master Hsing Yun’s concept of using Buddhist chanting to liberate all beings and using music to make affinities with all beings.
Ven. Huichuan, Vice Abbot of Fo Guang Shan, addressed the audience, explaining that under the instruction of Venerable Master Hsing Yun, Fo Guang Shan will use music and athletics to spread Buddhism in the coming 50 years. By softening our hearts and calming our minds, Buddhism can enter the hearts of people through music.
Under the direction of conductor Jorge Luis Uzcategui, the symphony orchestra played classical pieces such as Radetzky March, Eine Klein Nachtmusik, and Hungarian Dance No. 5. They also performed Buddhist pieces like Harmonize and The Song of Fo Guang Shan. As an encore, they played Watching the Spring Breeze.
“The orchestra was founded in 1993, to give children a place to learn music and encounter Buddhism,” Hsi Lai Temple director Ven. Huihao. “Through this, we can spread Humanistic Buddhism via music, express the true beauty and virtue of human nature, and purify our minds.”
The musicians expressed their appreciation for Venerable Master Hsing Yun’s compassion and resolved to do their best in continuing to learn. Violinist Luis Villalobos and trumpeter Lisa Romeo, who are both in other orchestras, remarked that the BLYSO is especially serious about practicing and following instructions.