MEET OUR DIRECTOR

Julie McGhee

I have been teaching violin and cello for 21 years, I served as String Director at Plymouth Christian Academy in Canton, Michigan for 14 years. In 2013 I was introduced to the beautiful people of Liberia, West Africa. I immediately fell in love with the children, but I was also extremely burdened with their plight. I learned so much about joy in the midst of difficulty, resilience, strong communities, and the power of generosity and kindness. I returned in 2014 and 2016. It was during this last trip I brought my violin and had the privilege of playing in 4 different schools in different communities in Liberia. This was the very first time the students and teachers had ever seen or heard a violin played in person. As I watched the faces of these children, who have endured such hardship in their short lives, light up with excitement and wonder, I knew I had to try to bring this to their country.

I am by no means a virtuoso or even the most qualified teacher, but isn’t it just like God to use the ordinary to show off his extraordinary work? So I prayed a lot. God began opening doors left and right and basically pushing me through them. The Liberian Youth Orchestra project is so far beyond anything that I could ever dream, and I believe it will be something that outlives me.

 

So I started with what I could do and decided to attempt what I knew only God could do. And He entrusted me with the most amazing young people! I met them in November of 2018 and we have developed a beautiful relationship. They have learned so quickly and have been such a joy to teach and mentor. Each of these children has so much potential. They are the true wealth of Liberia.

 

To see and hear string music being played and enjoyed, to see a love of music kindled in young hearts, to watch love and generosity change lives, to see hope stirring in a nation struggling to get past a civil war, to love and reach Liberians of all ages by giving away freely what they would not otherwise have… the gift of string music. And through it all, to be given a platform to share the love of Christ. This is what it is all about for me. A friend shared a quote with me that replays in my mind often, “What you build for yourself will die with you, but what you build for others will continue long after you are gone.”

– Ken Vogle

 

Would you consider joining me in this effort? I need you. The doors of opportunity are wide open, but I cannot do this without the prayer and support of individuals like you.   

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