The Cabarrus Arts Council has provided live professional performances to the school children in Cabarrus County since 2000.
Partnering with Cabarrus County and Kannapolis City schools, along with the private schools in the area, the Arts Council provides every student – from kindergarten through high school – an opportunity to see one of the more than 60 performances scheduled for this academic school year.
On Oct. 14, the Charlotte Symphony and the UNC Charlotte College of Arts and Architecture presented “Music and the Holocaust” at Cox Mill High School in Concord. The 45-minute concert weaves music, narration and images into an experience that explores the importance of music in the Jewish culture during the times surrounding World War II.
Meg Whalen narrated as the Klezmer Quartet, a foursome, played ethnic music that came from the time of the Holocaust. Gene Kavadlo played clarinet and spoke to the students about the music that had been outlawed by the Nazis.
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Carlos Tarazona played the violin, Mike Mosley played guitar and Ron Brendle played bass. During a Jewish wedding song, Kavadlo prompted the students to shout “Mazel tov!” – meaning “Good luck!” – at the appropriate time.
Explaining that the Nazis used music as a form of torture in the concentration camps – musician prisoners were forced to play music the guards enjoyed – Kavadlo said the musicians found comfort when they could play their own music among themselves.
Whalen pointed out the accomplishments of these musicians, explaining how they persevered and Europe’s Jewish community refused to have their music silenced.
“The symphony has been a wonderful partner in this performance, by making it affordable for the Arts Council,” said Bunny Nash, performing arts director with the Cabarrus Arts Council. “This is the perfect program. It touches on the art aspect of learning, with such fine artists. To have our kids exposed to this level of program is wonderful.”
The live performances were scheduled for seven of the Cabarrus County high schools in October. The last performances will be Nov. 9 at A.L. Brown and Jay M. Robinson.
Each performance includes a study guide for the students. More programs are scheduled for each age group; the schedule for the performances can be found on the Cabarrus Arts Council web site.
Marty Price is a freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information about the school performances and other arts council activities, visit www.CabarrusArtsCouncil.org or call 704-920-2787.