Nathan Chan is a cellist.
Nathan Chan is the assistant principal cellist at the Seattle Symphony. Courtesy of Seattle Symphony

Good morning. It's Thursday, March 19, and here at The Stranger, in light of everything happening around us, we're doing something different today. We are not starting the day with news. We are overwhelmed by news. We need something other than news, our morning round-up Slog AM, to start the day.

What we really need—what we all need—is hope. We need connection. We need a reminder of what's good about being alive. Beginning now, and continuing every day until the human condition improves, we're presenting a message of hope to the whole city from someone who has a gift to share. Today's message is below.

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We will be publishing a Message to the City each day at 8 am, and Slog AM is moving to 8:30 am.

Today's message is from the musician Nathan Chan, assistant principal cellist at the Seattle Symphony, whose musical career began before the age of 2. If you're watching this on your phone, plug in your headphones. If you're watching this on a computer, watch it at full screen. It's less than 5 minutes long, but it was made for you, in this moment.

Here is Nathan's message to you:

"I think music has the power to unite us as a community and as a species," he says. The piece he chose to play today shows us "the importance of finding one's inner peace in times of discomfort or stress."

Watch it as many times as it takes to be able to move on to the rest of your day. We will be watching it on repeat all morning.

Then go wash your hands, get to work, if you don't have work join a book club, call a relative, write a letter (mail's still legal), go for a jog (as long as you don't go jogging in a group), stretch, or take a bubble bath. We hope you have a healthier, happier day than yesterday.

Heres a little bit more about Nathan...
Here's a little bit more about Nathan... Portrait by Jiyang Chen

Cellist Nathan Chan made his musical debut at age three conducting the San Jose Chamber Orchestra. He has performed as a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, The Royal Philharmonic, and the Albany Symphony, among others. Chan was a chosen artist for Fondation Louis Vuitton's Classe d'Excellence du Violoncelle with renowned cellist Gautier Capuçon. Nathan earned his Bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and has a growing internet presence with over 7 million views. Find him on Instagram and on Twitter @nathanchancello. Nathan studied with Richard Aaron at The Juilliard School, where he earned his Masters of Music. He is currently Assistant Principal Cello of the Seattle Symphony.

Read his full bio here.

There will be another Message to the City tomorrow at 8 am, as well as Saturday at 8 am, Sunday at 8 am, and every day next week. If we have a next week.

Thank you, Nathan. Thank you so much.



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Also in this series:


John Rodericks message to the city on April 3.
John Roderick's message to the city on April 3.

Bill Cartys message to the city on April 2.
Bill Carty's message to the city on April 2.

Price Suddarths message to the city on April 1.
Price Suddarth's message to the city on April 1.

Kary Waysons message to the city on March 31.
Kary Wayson's message to the city on March 31.

Ellen Forneys message to the city on March 30.
Ellen Forney's message to the city on March 30.

Major Scaless message to the city on March 29.
Major Scales's message to the city on March 29.

E. J. Kohs message to the city on March 28.
E. J. Koh's message to the city on March 28.

Ken Jenningss message to the city on March 27.
Ken Jennings's message to the city on March 27.

Demarre McGills message to the city on March 26.
Demarre McGill's message to the city on March 26.

Lynn Sheltons Message to the City on March 25th.
Lynn Shelton's Message to the City on March 25th.

Timothy White Eagles message to the city on March 24.
Timothy White Eagle's message to the city on March 24.

Cookie Coutures message to the city on March 23.
Cookie Couture's message to the city on March 23.

Sarah Rudinoffs message to the city on March 22.
Sarah Rudinoff's message to the city on March 22.

John Osebolds message to the city on March 21.
John Osebold's message to the city on March 21.


Ben Gibbards message to the city on March 21.
Ben Gibbard's message to the city on March 20.

Nathan Chans message to the city on March 19.
Nathan Chan's message to the city on March 19.

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