• Joel Brown

    Staff Writer

    Joel Brown

    Joel Brown is a staff writer at BU Today and Bostonia magazine. He’s written more than 700 stories for the Boston Globe and has also written for the Boston Herald and the Greenfield Recorder. Profile

  • Jason Kimball

    Video Producer/Editor

    Jason Kimball

    Jason Kimball has produced videos for BU Today and Bostonia online since 2015. After graduating from Bridgewater State University with a communications degree and a love of collaborative storytelling, Boston University was (and still is) his dream home. In his time here, Jason has worked alongside shark researchers, prosthetic eye sculptors, ship restorers, omelet makers, music festival founders, and so many more. Profile

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There are 6 comments on Kinh Vu’s Journey from Vietnam Orphan to BU Music Professor

  1. This is such an inspiring and touching story. The power and empowerment of music, and your journey, are so beautiful. Thank you for sharing and bringing your gifts to curious minds!

  2. Joel, thank YOU for this wonderful article. As Kinh suggests, it was amazing for he and I to randomly reconnect after almost 30 years. Kinh brought an insatiable intellectual curiosity, blended with amazing core passion, to the orchestra. His human heart was boundless, and I am SO honored that he referenced our time together, but moreso NOT SURPRISED in the least of his impact to his BU students, as well as ALL of humanity! I look forward to my next trip to Boston to reconnect with him, and perhaps hopefully meet you as well!

  3. Thank you for sharing this story online! I am especially moved by Kinh Vu’s experiences with his music teacher, Mr. Straiton. “‘I had made music all my life, but I knew my schoolteachers didn’t really like people, they liked music.’ There was an exception, however… ‘Mr. Straiton, who directed the regional youth orchestra, he liked people, and that was such a different thing for me…I don’t think it was Beethoven or Mozart or Copland, I think it was Mr. Walter Straiton. He liked us a lot…. I tell my students about this guy all the time. I don’t care what kind of music you program in your schools or your community centers or your churches, but the learners will get nothing out of it if they know you don’t care about them. They see through you.'”

  4. Great story, Kinh! You should also let people know about your wonderful work with Salvadoran immigrants here in the Boston area, along with your trips to El Salvador itself. Don’t lose your incredible energy!

  5. Kinh is an old soul. I had the pleasure of getting to know him as colleagues at Killingly High. The students and faculty loved him! Obviously, he continues to add to his legacy and spread his love of music and humanity!

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