Peace and Pride Take Center Stage

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The virtues of peace, forgiveness, and nonviolence echoed beautifully within Freeport High School’s new Performing Arts Center on Oct. 1 — a day hundreds of students, parents, elected officials, Board of Education members, administrators and community members attended the district’s sixth-annual Peace Concert. The event was headlined by performances presented by students from each of the district’s eight schools showcasing their exceptional musical and artistic talents in peace-themed performances and artwork.

The Peace Concert annually celebrates International Peace Day, the International Day of Nonviolence and the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, whom Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham quoted in his speech prior to the concert. “I am always excited to be here for this celebration, as we come together to take time celebrate and promote promote peace, dissolve any feelings of hatred, and to have a smile to spread in our community and to the rest of the world,” he said.  “We need to think peace. As Gandhi said, ‘There is no path to peace; Peace is the Path.’”

At the beginning of the Peace Concert, the district celebrated the grand opening of the Performing Arts Center.  Joining Dr. Kuncham for the ribbon cutting were Board of Education members Michael Pomerico, Anthony Miller, Ron Ellerbe, Ernest Kight, Vilma Lancaster; Village Trustees Debra Mulé and Carmen Piñeyro; Nassau County Legislator Laura Curran; Freeport Police Chief Miguel Bermudez; Freeport Educational Foundation President Butch Yamali; Freeport Coordinator of the Arts Ruth Breidenbach, and Freeport High School Principal Linda Carter.  

Board of Education President Michael Pomerico noted all of the wonderful work done on the Performing Arts Center and thanked the community for their support and for joining us for the Peace Concert.  

The first group of students to grace the stage following the ribbon-cutting ceremony was the district’s class of 2028, with Columbus Avenue kindergartners performing “We Are the World” under the direction of Christina Prisco-Buxbaum. Freeport High School student Rajiv Chanda then spoke about the impact of the Peace Concert tradition. “I cannot begin to express how grateful I am to be part of a district that takes the time to recognize the importance of peace,” he said. “Let’s continue to celebrate this momentous occasion.”

Following Chanda’s remarks, eight schools with more than 500 students ranging from kindergarten up through the Sinfonietta program at the high school engendered a spirit of peace and positive vibrations through peace related performances and commentary.  Audience members were also treated to a wide array of visually stimulating artwork, as students’ paintings and drawings highlighting peace were displayed outside the Performing Arts Center.

The concert not only promoted the importance of peace as a driving force, but also showcased the amazing talents of Freeport students in the new Performing Arts Center.