Oakland orchestra holds concert to honor Ghost Ship fire victims on 6-year anniversary

In an emotional performance, an Oakland-based orchestra marked the anniversary of the tragic Ghost Ship fire through music. The concert was called "Requiem Sinfonica: A Requiem Without Words" and was held at the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts. 

Composer Arturo Rodriguez called it a night of community healing. 

"Music historically has always been about healing and connecting with people and creating some kind of social change. So I’m seeing this piece of music not only as representation of 36 lives that were part of Ghost Ship but also a call to action in a way to our leaders," said Rodriguez. 

Rodriguez started working on this musical composition back in 2016 while searching for an outlet for his grief over the devastating fire. He said he wanted to create a musical presentation for the families of those who died. Rodriguez called those who perished the "36 stars." 

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"I want to acknowledge that it’s their journey. So this music represents their journey of their death into paradise; that’s really the essence of a requiem," he said. 

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The 65-piece orchestra was with "Awesome Orchestra Collective." Organizers said they wanted to give people in the community a place to come together, honor the victims, grieve, and heal. 

"Six years later I hope we can bring more healing and peace to the families," said Rodriguez. "Hopefully city leaders are listening to the families and will be holding themselves accountable so that we don’t have another event like Ghost Ship happening ever again."