Watch cellists Amit Peled and the Mount Vernon Virtuosi perform the premiere of John Clayton’s composition ’The Hill We Climb’. The work is inspired by and set to the poem of the same name by American poet and activist Amanda Gorman, which she recited at the presidential inauguration in January 2021.

Describing the impetus behind creating the film, Peled says, ’After such a turbulent time around the world due to Covid coupled with the continuous struggle for more equality in our country, the making of this film has been a torch of hope and strength for all of us who were involved in its creation. We hope viewers will find the music and words as inspiring and healing as we have.

Composer John Clayton says, ’I imagined a scenario that would highlight the strength and the beauty of that poem, but also allow for a conversation between the cello ensemble and the maestro playing the solo parts… as if it were a concerto grosso.’

Cellists featured include Amit Peled, Natalia Vilchis, Nick Pascucci, Lindsey Choung, Mairéad Flory, Kyle Victor, Jiaoyang Sunny Xu, and Álvaro Vázquez Osa. The film was recorded in June 2021 by audio and video producer Matt Carr.

The Mount Vernon Virtuosi is a chamber orchestra based in Baltimore, Maryland. Composed of seventeen string players, the orchestra was founded in 2018 by cellist Amit Peled with a mission to provide a place of artistic growth for the young musician on the brink of their professional career. By providing a platform for young musicians to continue developing their skills, personal growth is achieved by engaging with audiences of all ages through exceptional performances and community engagement activities throughout the Baltimore and Washington DC region.

Watch: Amit Peled and Cello Gang perform for Special Operations Forces

Read: Sentimental Work: Amit Peled

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