Annual International Peace Day concert returns

The third annual International Peace Day concert is still happening this year at Oakland University. Students, faculty and staff are welcome to join Oakland University’s School of Music on Sept. 20 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. outside at the Varner Hall courtyard.

“We all want peace and need peace in our homes, in our schools, and within our larger society,” Mark Stone, associate professor of world music and percussion, said. “We are all citizens of this one planet, and as world citizens, we must work to repair and heal our relationships with one another and with our environment.”

International Peace Day was originally founded through a decree by a United Nations resolution in 1981 and now takes part around the world. The day usually takes place on Sept. 21 globally and is meant to symbolize ideals of peace, through a 24 hour non-violence and cease-fire.

Due to COVID-19, the celebration will be held a day earlier compared to past years. By moving it a day earlier, on a Sunday, this provides the opportunity to have the event outside where social distancing can be encouraged. 

There will only be a hundred guests allowed for the event, and people attending were required to RSVP. At this point, the event has reached full capacity , but the department is also providing a livestream on the SMTD webpage for those who still want to watch the event.

The point of this event is to bring the community together to share music and provide a sense of peace, while having a rejuvenating experience. It will also be a “globally shared date for all humanity to commit to peace…  and to contribute to building a culture of peace.”

Stone will be sharing original solo compositions featuring the Array Mbira, an American-made 120 key lamellaphone recently created by Bill Wesley. There also will be appearances by traditional African instruments, such as the Ghanaian gyil and the South African karimba.

“The music I will be playing is inspired by interfaith prayers and international poems of peace,” Stone said. “I will also be sharing these inspiring readings between each composition.”

The global theme this year is “Shaping Peace Together,” since this year has proven time and time again that what happens in one part of the world can affect people everywhere.

The department hopes to continue participating in this event in the upcoming years, and it seems to become more of a tradition with each year. .

Attendees with reservations that have any questions can contact Box Office Manager, Megan Herald, at [email protected].