As part of the worldwide effort to replace violence and hatred with music and love the LaGrange International Friendship Exchange, LIFE, hosted a delightful, uplifting and moving evening of music Tuesday.
This year’s concert “Music for Peace” featured both local and international performers.
This is the third year that LIFE has joined forces with groups from around the world to be part of the September Concert series. The September Concert is a series of free concerts that are organized by individuals, schools, businesses and private organizations to bring communities together. These concerts are meant to be a celebration of life and a continued affirmation of humanity’s desire and hope for peace. The concerts are given between September 10th through the 12th each year. Tuesday night’s concert was the only one of this series that was given in Georgia. The night’s festivities was dedicated in memory of five individuals.
The president of LIFE, Margaret Ross gave the introduction of the night that included the presentation of roses to family members of the individuals who the night was dedicated. Mrs. Lillian Champion accepted a rose in memory of her daughter, Marjorie Champion Salamone, who had lost her life at the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. Roses were also given to the mother, Joy Thomas, and the grandmother, Sandra Simpson, of Sargent Corey Spates who lost his life in Iraq on Feb. 10, 2008. The evening was also dedicated in memory of Annette Boyd, Dr. Art Holbrook, and Doug Hardin, all founding members of LIFE.
Performers in brightly colored costumes shared their rich cultures and talents to sing, play and dance in the celebration of their shared vision of World Peace. From the very first note from the youngest members of Freedom Sound New Life orchestra to the very last one from the finale, when all of the night’s performers returned on stage to lead the singing of, Let There Be Peace on Earth, the audience was treated to a vibrant and engrossing array of sound and inspiration.
Kevin Dunn took part in the program by playing percussion for a few of the groups and singing Wind Beneath My Wings near the end of the show. Before the show started Dunn commented on his role in the night’s production.
“This is the third year that I am taking part in this event,” said Dunn. His reason for wanting to continue to be part of the concert, “just giving back and being part of the history, and supporting the college’” he said.
Ziheng Wand, a high school exchange student from China, gave a performance on the Erhu, a two-string 10th century Chinese violin, which brought the audience to their feet.
As one of the acts was setting up, Dr. Christiane Price, LIFE’s vice-president, gave a simple explanation of how the night’s performers, which such varied backgrounds, were able to join forces to create the night’s entertainment.
“The world comes together here in LaGrange, thanks to open-hearted interesting people,” said Price.
The entire night was accented with the respect and appreciation that the event’s organizers and the performers themselves demonstrated for each other.
The evening was a huge success with September 11, 2012 being highlighted with the hope and message of World Peace being clearly heard from the Callaway Auditorium in the lovely city of LaGrange Georgia.
The September Concert Foundation was incorporated in April 2002 as a 501(c) (3) public charity, inspiring a small army of volunteers and on Sept. 11th, 2002 the first September Concert was born. To date this organization has functioned solely through the efforts of volunteers.
Further information concerning the September Concert Foundation may be found at https://www.septemberconcert.org.
The LaGrange International Friendship Exchange, LIFE, are looking for new members, if interested please contact Troup County Chamber of Commerce for more information at 706-884-8671.