What do Buckingham Palace, Rebecca Strauss, and healing music have in common?

Rebecca Strauss, Music Director of Riverview Chamber Players,

tests the acoustics in the Grand Entrance of

Buckingham Palace prior to the arrival of guests.

I had the great honor of performing at Buckingham Palace this past October at a reception hosted by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, for the ASCENT Initiative launch.

The ASCENT Initiative is a combined partnership between the Acid Survivors Trust International (ASTI) and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital of Harvard Medical School. This international initiative will develop a universal standard for implementing comprehensive trauma care and strengthening existing care delivery systems for survivors of acid violence worldwide. ASCENT aims to heal both body and mind while empowering survivors of this extreme form of gender-based violence to proudly show face and retake their rightful place back in society. Both music and other arts will be an integral part of this comprehensive care.

Thank you to Dr. Samata Sharma, Co-Director of Project ASCENT (shown above to the right) for inviting me to perform at this event as a demonstration of the power of music for healing.

Thank you for providing us an ability to weave music through the evening to heighten the stories of survivor strength and courage. The musical narratives you created were so beautiful, personally relevant and symbolic of the healing power that creativity, and especially music, has. —Dr. Samata Sharma

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal meets guests at the reception. Princess Anne is a patron of ASTI and supports its work to end acid violence and help acid survivors worldwide.

Her Royal Highness views the exhibition of survivor portraits by photographer Ann­Christine Woerhl, accompanied by Jaf Shah, Executive Director of ASTI and Co-Director of Project ASCENT. Ann­-Christine travelled to Bangladesh, India, Cambodia, Nepal, Pakistan, and Uganda to produce this collection of powerful photos.

ASTI's Jaf Shah looking regal next to photos of survivors.

Bowing in the Bow Room of Buckingham Palace.

Following the event Patricia Espitia, an acid survivor from Colombia,

and her translator join me in the courtyard of Buckingham Palace.


I am passionate about designing, producing, and performing innovative music programs that respond to social justice issues, promote healing, invite community involvement, and help build a sustainable healing landscape that opens the door for personal transformation and empowerment.

I welcome your questions, collaborative project ideas, and performance offers.

—Rebecca Strauss

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