SAN ANTONIO – Monday evening’s performance of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” by the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio, or YOSA, was nearly a year in the planning, said Troy Peters, YOSA’s music director.
When he first heard about the disturbing allegations by two young men in “Leaving Neverland,” the HBO documentary about Jackson, Peters said, “We asked ourselves whether we should be doing this, and we certainly had other people ask us, ‘Is this the right time?’”
Despite the documentary airing less than a week ago, YOSA musicians and their parents agreed the show must go on, Peters said, if it could have a meaningful purpose. He said it was decided to use the occasion to raise awareness about child abuse and the nonprofit groups that work with victims.
When the audience arrives for the 8 p.m. performance, Peters said, ChildSafe, Roy Maas Youth Alternatives, San Antonio Clubhouse, and the local chapter of the National Alliance of Mental Health, will be front and center in the lobby with information about what they do.
Peters said it will be a resource fair on child abuse.
He said before the concert, one of the YOSA members will welcome the audience and explain why it was decided to move forward with the performance, followed by Judge Peter Sakai, who presides over the Children’s Court.
Peters said that he understands if some choose not to attend the concert.
“There have been people who have stepped forward and said they want to come because of the fact we’re using the concert as a platform for this important issue," he said.
He said the YOSA members want to try to make a positive difference through their music.
“I have a bunch of musicians who have worked like crazy to put on this show,” Peters said. “I’m proud and happy to be a part of it.”