Beautiful Sights and Sounds of Peace

101216_main.jpg thumbnail65923

In honor of International Peace Day, the International Day of Nonviolence and the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, the district hosted its annual districtwide Peace Concert & Art Exhibit on Oct. 6 at the Performing Arts Center at the high school.

Hundreds of students, parents, board of education members, administrators, elected officials and community members attended the event, which featured harmonious peace-themed performances and artwork showcased by each of the district’s eight schools. The concert also served as the district’s first event to feature a brand new baby grand piano donated by the Freeport Educational Foundation.

“Freeport is such a diverse community, and this is our way of showing how our community and school district come together for peace,” said Board of Education President Michael Pomerico. “There’s violence and bad things that occur in other parts of the world, but this is just another example of what Freeport, as such a diversified community, can do.”

The concert was emceed by high school student and standout vocalist Michael Desir, who provided insightful messages about peace and love as transitions from one performance to the next. Following the Presentation of Colors by members of the high school’s Navy JROTC and a rendition of the national anthem by high school student Alyna Golde, students from each school took turns gracing the stage with various spirited performances.

Kindergartners from Columbus Avenue sang and danced to “Peace Today” under the direction of choreographer Amanda Rodriguez; fifth-graders from Atkinson sang “We All Bleed Red” under the direction of Stephanie Arnell; fourth-graders from New Visions sang and marched to “Love Train” under the direction of Crystal Leotaud; fourth-graders from Bayview sang “Ev’rybody’s Talkin’ ‘Bout Peace” under the direction of Jeannie Leal; the high school’s Sinfonietta performed “You’ll Never Walk Alone” under the direction of student conductor Christina Morris; second-graders from Archer Street sang “My Peace” under the direction of Jennifer Skelly; Giblyn fourth-graders sang “We Can Dream” under the direction of Shannon Abramovitz; and Dodd’s Select Chorale, under the direction of Sherill Spruill, sang “This is My Wish” and led a candlelight observance for peace encouraging all schools and audience members to shine their lights and sing along.

The Peace Concert and Art Exhibit served as a harmonious and beautiful forum to spread the messages of peace and nonviolence throughout the world, beginning in the Village of Freeport.