This summer a local group hopes to address crime in an unprecedented way. TODAY'S TMJ4 was on hand for the first public rehearsal of the Black String Triage Ensemble. The group hopes its strings serve as a relief for Milwaukee's troubled neighborhoods.
Leonard Bernstein once said, "This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before."
The Black String Triage Ensemble is practicing in that same mindset, hoping to provide comfort to Milwaukee's troubled neighborhoods.
At the groups first public rehearsal, dozens gathered at Ascension Lutheran Church on South Layton Blvd. to practice.
Founder and Director Dayvin Hallmon plans to deploy the musicians to selected homicide scenes in Milwaukee.
"To move people from absolute despair and hopelessness to hope and possibility," said Hallmon.
Hallmon believes that as the universal language, music can be a tool of change.
"When you're doing music you're always a warrior because you're always trying to communicate with the soul whether that's your own, or to reach someone trying to communicate a message," he said.
Hallmon chose strings because their sound waves are closest to the human voice.
"Anyone who's ever had to plan a funeral understands the importance of the favorite song of the deceased whether that's Beethoven 5 or Led Zeppelin."
Concerts from the Black String Triage Ensemble will feature music of black composers with themes of race or poverty.
Hallmon believes there is a power in music that can be harnessed to affect peace.
"We're in this together and everyone has something to contribute in this community to make a change and it's time for all of us to step up," said Hallmon.
The first appearance of the Black String Triage Ensemble at a homicide scene is set to take place in the next few weeks.