After surviving 9/11, a Denver musician will honor those who didn’t make it

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DENVER (KDVR) — Most Americans remember exactly where they were on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.

For Magee Capsouto, the day started out like any other, walking with her younger brother and mother near their home in lower Manhattan.

“There used to be a farmer’s market in World Trade Center (WTC) plaza, so we headed that direction,” she said. “And while my mother was shopping, we were sitting on the curb, playing.”

That’s when Capsouto heard the first plane, heading towards the WTC.

“And then we looked up, and directly over our heads, watched the plane go into the North tower,” she said. “Without question, it was a jet, and we saw the wing come out of the building, and the explosion out of the other side.”

Capsouto, 11 years old at the time, says they quickly evacuated the area, which quickly filled with dust and debris.

“We saw, floor by floor, it just kind of imploded and disappeared,” she said. “And we watched our entire home and neighborhood just get obliterated in this cloud.”

Capsouto’s family re-united at their family restaurant, Capsouto-Freres, about a mile north of the crash scenes.

“Throughout the day, people just came, because they didn’t know where else to go,” she said. “They decided pretty quickly that we should open the doors, we had our walk-in full of food, we had people that wanted to be there.”

At one point, she stood on a table and played her violin for customers. It’s a moment that sticks with her today.

“There weren’t words to kind of explain so much of what we had experienced, and when I started playing, I felt connected to everyone,” she said. “We could just be there and experience the music together, and it was just calm.”

Twenty years later, Capsouto is a professional musician and works for a nonprofit called the National Instrumentalist Mentoring and Advancement Network, and often freelances with the Colorado Symphony and other orchestras.

Saturday night, she’ll perform in Dan Forrest’s “Requiem for the Living” at Trinity United Methodist Church in downtown Denver.

The concert will mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11, while paying tribute to lives lost in the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s something that people need for healing and remembrance,” she said. “We’re here to respect the lives that were taken and remember them, but also be aware of the privilege it is to be alive, and to do these things.”

That concert is free and open to the public. Masks will be required.

Donations can be made at the event to go toward frontline health care workers in Colorado.

Click here for more information.

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