Steering Committee Members presenting the Prayer for Peace Concert proceeds for United Nations refugee relief efforts to Brian Reich (center) are from left, Elizabeth Halpin, Associate Dean of External Affairs, School of Diplomacy and International Relations; Professor Paul Gibbons who serves on the MidAtlantic Board; alumnus and MidAtlantic Opera President Stephen Lasher and Maestro Jason Tramm. (photo by Laurie Pine)
Celebrating our humanity during the holiday season, members of the Seton Hall community and MidAtlantic Opera visited the USA for UNHCR (United Nations Refugee Agency) in Manhattan on December 21, presenting an $8,000 donation from the Prayer for Peace Concert held at Carnegie Hall earlier this fall.
"We are thankful not just for the donation, but for the passion and commitment of everyone who was involved with the event. USA for UNHCR is helping to raise money to support the more than 60 million people around the world who have been displaced, and engage more Americans in this important effort. The success of this event, and the support that the organizers have shown, can serve as inspiration for anyone who wants to make a difference in this critical global issue," said Brian Reich, project director of USA for UNHRC, the UN Refugee Agency.
More than 2000 people attended the Prayer for Peace Concert in support of interfaith dialogue and peace to hear 100 students, alumni, faculty, community members, professional opera singers, and musicians perform Iranian, Muslim, Jewish and Christian music on the theme of peace with one third of the net proceeds going to refugee relief efforts.
Andrea Bartoli, Dean of Seton Hall's School of Diplomacy and International Relations, who serves on the steering committee said, "Music is a gift of peace. Sharing in the proceedings of the first "Prayer For Peace" concert at Carnegie Hall is a gift of humanity."
When a major university and a professional arts organization partner for a good cause, it's amazing what can be produced, explained Jason Tramm, artistic director of the MidAtlantic Opera and assistant professor and director of Choral Activities in the College of Communication and the Arts at Seton Hall.
"It was an honor to see our university students participate in such high level music for such a noble cause and to hear their engagement around building common bridges among people. It is rewarding to be part of a university community that embraces the need for interfaith discussion and the importance of loving our neighbor," said Tramm.