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Ohio Northern University presents international violinist Romel Joseph

Mar 25, 2014

The Ohio Northern University Music Department presents a performance by Haitian violinist Romel Joseph in Snyder Recitial Hall in Presser Hall on Monday, March 31, at 8 p.m.\Joseph, a blind Juilliard-trained classical violinist, will perform with his children, Victoria and Bradley Joseph, who are formally trained musicians and will accompany him on the viola and piano.

In addition to his performance, Joseph, executive director of both The New Victorian School and Walenstein Musical Organization, will share his inspiring story of being blind and growing up in Haiti, becoming a decorated musician, and, more recently, recovering from major injuries after being trapped under rubble for 18 hours after a devastating earthquake hit Haiti in 2010.

Joseph was born in Gros-Morne, Haiti, and went blind because his parents couldn’t afford to treat infections in his eyes. At the St. Vincent’s Center for Handicapped Children, his musical journey began when a nun put a violin in his hands.

In 1978, Joseph, at age 19, earned a scholarship to the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. After graduating, he went to Boston to study piano tuning at Tanglewood, the home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. In 1985, he was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to attend the Julliard School, where he earned a master’s degree in music. He returned to Haiti, where he founded the New Victorian School in 1991 to teach music to children.

Admission is free. There is a suggested donation of $10, and all proceeds from the “Never Give Up Tour” benefit Friends of Music Education for Haiti, a nonprofit organization founded by Joseph in response to the destruction of The New Victorian School in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, during the 2010 earthquake. Through its concerts and workshops, Friends of Music Education for Haiti provides support to expand the school’s training programs and has initiated the creation of Haiti’s first performing arts center.