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Broadway Trombonist Leads Dozens In Virtual Performance To Inspire Young Performers On International Women's Day

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Broadway has been dark, leaving thousands out of work for nearly a year.

But a group of musicians still found a way to come together in perfect harmony to celebrate International Women's Day, CBS2's Jenna DeAngelis reported Monday.

Jennifer Wharton has been playing the trombone proudly for years in a Broadway pit orchestra. Her latest gig was in "West Side Story," until the pandemic hit.

"Unfathomable, still to this day, that we've been out of work for a year," said Wharton, who's from Queens.

A few months ago, when Wharton was feeling down, music lifted her back up. Specifically, she enjoyed hearing a song from the movie "The Greatest Showman" for the first time. It's called "This Is Me."

"It speaks to me because it's about loving yourself even though you may not have the support that you want," Wharton said. "No one in my family was a musician and it's just a hard life... I really had to fight to pursue my dream and I found my family in music."

Wharton brought her music family together to play that inspiring song in a virtual performance for International Women's Day.

Among the 47 women who performed - mostly on the trombone - is Sara Jacovino, another Broadway musician, who hopes their music leaves a mark on aspiring female artists.

This Is Me - large (mostly) trombone choir celebrating International Women's Day 2021 by Jennifer Wharton on YouTube

"Jennifer and I grew up when there weren't really many female role models for younger students to look at. That's why they say, 'Oh, a trombone is an instrument mostly men play,'" said Jacovino, who's from Brooklyn.

"I figured if I could give some younger folks the ability to see all these amazing females together playing... it would be really cool, because I wish I had that when I was younger," Wharton said. "Instruments are not male or female. They're just instruments."

They hope this strikes a chord with anyone listening not just on a day set aside to celebrate women, but every day.

While many of the musicians featured in the performance are from our area, some are from other parts of the country and around the world.

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