Eastman students – troubled by the current state of affairs both globally and nationally – have been inspired to hold a concert that will send a message for peace and hope to the people of Rochester. The “Visions of Peace” concert is at 7 p.m. on Sunday, April 27 at Reformation Lutheran Church across the street from the Eastman Student Living Center.

The program will include music, chosen by the performers, with either a peaceful message or a special meaning for the performers. The program spans a wide range of genres, including Mozart and the Beatles. Spoken poetry will also be integrated into the program.

The performers, all members of the Eastman community, will be mostly students. Some faculty members, including professor of violin Lynn Blakeslee and professor of viola George Taylor, will be performing as well.

Explaining why she become part of the concert, Blakeslee said, “Most Americans had no choice about this war, no voice. Indeed, they risked being branded as traitors if they protested during it. Now that the conflict is blessedly coming to an end, we can raise our ‘voices’ – our music – for peace, in the fervent hope that America will not again forsake its moral and ethical values to become the imperialist aggressor.”

The concert also includes the group Dialects, who will perform a composition by member and violist Caleb Burhans.

The idea of the concert was first conceived and put into action by Eastman students Take-Five scholar Emily Caltvedt, junior Sarah Frisof, Chappell Kingsland, Sarah Mellander and Sarah Schram, who first considered the idea of holding a concert for peace while attending an anti-war protest in Washington, D.C.

They felt that the peace sentiment was one that they wanted to bring back to Eastman, only without the anger that they felt was present in the protests.

“This concert is not anti-war really, it’s more pro-peace,” said Schram.

“There won’t be any angry music. We’re taking a more positive approach than a protest,” Mellander added.

Posters were hung up at both Eastman and the River Campus, encouraging students to get involved with the planning and organization of the performance.

The goal is to promote peaceful interaction between Eastman students, UR students and members of the Rochester community. This is assisted by the format of the concert, which lends itself to many opportunities for audience participation. There are no printed programs, so performers will introduce themselves and announce their pieces to the audience. Also, some songs have been planned as sing-alongs.

After the concert, there will be a reception, offering audience members a chance to meet and share their thoughts on the war.

While donations are welcome, the concert is free and open to the public. Donations will offset the cost of the concert and the excess will be given to the charity Food Not Bombs.

The concert’s coordinators expect the concert to be a fulfilling event for the performers and audience alike and see it as a great way for Eastman students to reach out and share their talents with the community.

“Eastman students are in a position to give back to the community,” Frisof said. “This concert is an opportunity to share the hope that is embodied in music.”

Ristow can be reached at lristow@campustimes.org.



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