The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

CESJDS must implement diversity programming otherwise it will cause a gap between JDS students and the greater world.
CESJDS needs to implement more education on diversity
Sadaf Zadeh, Reporter • November 28, 2023

Private school students worldwide face the same issue after graduation: being sheltered. After years of growing up around the same general group...

JDS students from Shepherd Park travel about 7 miles to and from school each day.
Neighborhood creates intricate carpool system to adapt to long commute
Maya Greenblum, Reporter • November 28, 2023

Although a lot of the CESJDS community resides in nearby Montgomery County, over 20 of its families commute daily from a neighborhood located...

The American public responds with their opinions on celebrities voicing opinions on politics
Celebrities need to educate themselves before making statements on political issues
Sophie Schwartz, Reporter • November 28, 2023

Celebrities have a tremendous influence on society. From the shoes they wear to who they should vote for, celebrities have the ability to sway...

JDS celebrates 21st annual Daniel Pearl World Music Day

Abby Chesman
Instrumentalists prepare to perform original musical composition arranged by Bee Kotler

Around the world, over 140 countries honor the annual Daniel Pearl World Music Day by celebrating music through concerts and performances. For the CESJDS community, to which Pearl’s family belonged, the honorary day holds a more personal meaning. Now more than ever, it feels relevant to the community as they grapple with the war in Israel and the worldwide call for unity.

Since 2002, the Daniel Pearl Foundation has memorialized Daniel Pearl, a violinist and journalist for the Wall Street Journal, through the “Harmony for Humanity” concert founded in his name. Pearl was on a work trip to Pakistan for an interview when he was kidnapped and murdered by terrorists. 

JDS’s 21st annual celebration on Oct. 19. featured musical performances during arrival, high school morning break, both assemblies, a high school lunch concert and dismissal. The performances spotlighted over 60 students, which Director of Arts Education Dr. David Solomon believes is the most students to have ever performed for the occasion. 

“Daniel Pearl saw music as a way to bridge cultures and bring cultural understanding and tolerance,” Solomon said. “There is something special about what music can do.”

Daniel Pearl World Music Day was originally set to take place on Oct. 13, but was postponed until Oct. 19 due to the war in Israel and the cancellation of school that day. Solomon viewed the event as timely and hoped that it could act as a beacon of joy during the recent tragedy. The war in Israel and its relation to Daniel Pearl’s commemoration was addressed at both the middle school and high school concerts. 

“This is a moment of lightness during a dark time,” Solomon said. “I think there’s something about the Jewish experience, that there are always these difficult moments where festivity and tragedy overlap.” 

Upper School instrumental music teacher Gary Prince coordinated the day of music behind the scenes. According to Prince, although Daniel Pearl World Music Day is a response to a tragedy, it is also an opportunity to unite as a community and mark the musical accomplishments and passions of our community’s musicians. 

“For our student performers, it’s a wonderful occasion to prepare music,” Prince said. “Just from a curricular perspective, it’s an important date early in the year by which they need to have some songs prepared to perform… it’s a great occasion to hear music outside of Kab Shab.”

Sophomore Bee Kotler began preparing for their performance about three weeks ago, and the original composition that they performed had been in the works for over two months. The instrumental arrangement involved a 5-piece student band.

“I’ve written before, but this is the first time I’m performing with actual people rather than myself,” Kotler said. “To have [the performers] actually spend the time to learn what I wrote and to work with them on it was a really cool experience.”

Daniel Pearl World Music Day not only remembers Daniel Pearl’s passion for music, but credits JDS’s commitment to the performing arts and the universal language of music. A language that is capable of uniting communities in times of distress.

“It may seem odd that something so festive comes out of a tragedy,” Solomon said. “But that is the goal of the annual Daniel Pearl World Music Day, to connect people through joy and music.”


Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Maya Greenblum, Reporter

Comments (0)

All The Lion's Tale Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *