A sense of peace and unity filled the air at Hill Auditorium Friday night during a concert honoring the lives that were lost in Tuesday”s terrorist attacks.
With more than 400 performers, including the University and Philharmonia orchestras, the University and Chamber choirs, and the women”s and men”s glee clubs, the concert, titled “A Musical Meditation,” acted as a memorial to the many victims. Whether people found peace in the sounds of the Star Spangled Banner or the somber chords of Barber”s Adagio for Strings, the concert provided an outlet for people to grieve and begin to cope with last week”s events.
Karen Wolff, dean of the School of Music, said the concert was planned to “bring solace and give comfort in this time of darkness.”
People arrived for the concert more than an hour and a half before it began, waiting on the steps and lighting candles while bagpipes played in the distance.
“It”s such an appropriate memorial to recognize those who lost their lives and their family members,” Lt. Col. Robert McCormick said.
“I can”t think of a better way to bring the community together,” McCormick added. “This is definitely going to help people heal.”
School of Music junior Chris Lees said music is one of the best ways to bring people together.
“Music is one of those things. It”s like a warm blanket that you can wrap yourself in, and it can provide you comfort in something like this,” Lees said.
As the concert closed and a lone voice began singing “America the Beautiful,” students and community members stood together to sing, shed tears and, with their hands over their hearts, join for one more chorus of the Star Spangled Banner.
“Tonight is a memory that will last,” Wolff said to the full house. “It is a reminder of the unquenchable human spirit and its capacity to overcome extreme anguish.”
Other works on the program included “How lovely is they dwelling place,” from “A German Requiem,” by Johannes Brahms, “Dona nobis pacem,” from Johan Sebastian Bach”s “Mass in B Minor,” and the finale of Mahler”s Symphony No. 3.
“I hope that in this time of great sorrow and sadness, that music brings some sweetness to our souls,” co-director of choirs Jerry Blackstone said.
Students, like LSA junior Katie Kloss, looked for support from the concert.
“I think music is a universal language. It”s a good way to deal with stressful events and a way to escape,” she said.