7-year-old boy battling leukemia gets chance to conduct orchestra

7-year-old Jordan Cartwright is an avid classical music fan. But over recent months, his focus has been on fighting leukemia, which he was diagnosed with last year.

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Edmonton Symphony logo. Image credit: Edmonton Symphony Orchestra/Wikicommons

Cartwright has undergone nine months of chemotherapy and his parents have been living nearby in the Ronald McDonald House to be there for him since March. He has stage 4 leukemia and is being treated at a children’s hospital in Edmonton, Canada. His mother explained that music has played a big role in encouraging her son during the treatment.

The Ronald McDonald workers found out about Jordan’s passion and decided to surprise him with an incredible opportunity: the chance to conduct a symphony orchestra. They contacted the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and obtained their agreement to get involved. Jordan made his appearance as guest conductor yesterday, when he led the orchestra in a rendition of the Canadian national anthem at its annual family Christmas concert.

As a reminder of the event, Jordan will receive his own baton and tuxedo.

He was given an introduction a couple of weeks ago by the Symphony’s concertmaster, Robert Uchida. “He had already watched videos online – on how to conduct- I didn’t really have much to show him,” he commented.

You can watch a video about Jordan here.