Concert Features Musicians on Campus and Overseas to Connect, Reflect Amid War
Photos by Brian H. Crawford
Words have fallen short of expressing the swirl of grief, anger and fear since the start of the Israel-Hamas war. The University of Maryland on Monday night instead hosted a conversation through music.
Arts for All, along with the School of Music and The Clarice, organized “Music and Community in Response to War,” featuring performances by student ensembles and faculty members to bring the community together.
“What better way to do so than through the universal language of music,” said Senior Vice President and Provost Jennifer King Rice. “Especially in this moment when words are often not enough—when words can actually lead to misunderstanding all too easily.”
The evening also included a recording of the Jerusalem Youth Chorus singing “Reason to Love,” introduced in person by its founder and artistic director, Micah Hendler. The chorus is a program for young Israeli and Palestinian singers to create music and encourage dialogue in hopes of inspiring peace and equality. The chorus had been scheduled to perform at UMD this semester, before the start of the war.
The free concert swept across classical, chamber, pop and R&B, with songs written in response to loss, helplessness and a desire for comfort and connection. Craig Kier, director of Arts for All and an associate professor in the School of Music, said the artists sought to speak to concertgoers, no matter their perspective.
“We build beauty in the midst of sadness,” he said. “We shine light where there is darkness.”
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