Please help me gather the Peace Choir to sing in concert on 9-11-2006,
a Monday evening at 7:30 p.m.
There are two reasons why 9-11 is the most important date this year to
gather the Peace Choir and sing peace into the world.
Five years ago on 9-11 tragedy changed the world forever when the twin
towers of the World Trade Center fell.
One hundred years ago, 9-11-1906, Mahatma Gandhi and his followers
launched the first campaign of Satyagraha at a meeting in the Empire
Theater in Johannesburg, South Africa. Satyagraha was Gandhi's method
of active resistance based on the principles of courage, nonviolence,
and truth. Satyagraha ended British colonialism in India, and
provided Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a foundation for the Civil
Rights Movement in this country.
This year Ela Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi's granddaughter, is planning to
commemorate the birth of Satyagraha with an event in the original
location in S. A. (South Africa.) In conjunction, we plan the U.S.
event in our own S. A. (San Antonio.) We will begin with a theatrical
reenactment of what took place one hundred years ago. (This is
accurately depicted in the film Gandhi, about 25 minutes from the
beginning.) Since much of the action involved Gandhi on a stage in
dialog with members of the audience, those who attend will feel as
though they are participating in the original event. The meeting in
1906 ended with the audience rising to their feet and singing.
At this point in our program the Peace Choir will rise from their
seats in the Theater and walk toward the stage, singing. Accompanied
by a full band, we will raise our voices to create a vision of peace
in the world. (Do you have goose bumps yet?)
At our last concert on April 1, we had about 70 singers in the Peace
Choir. Participants ranged in age from four to 82, and entire
families sang together. My goal for 9-11 is to have over 100 singers
from a wide diversity of backgrounds, representing the idea that
everyone has a stake in creating peace. I want to include singers of
every age group, race, religion, class, political persuasion, national
origin, etc. Professional musicians as well as amateurs will be
participating, but NO EXPERIENCE IS NECESSARY, just a willingness to
sing from the heart.
This is how we will begin the second hundred years of Satyagraha: We
will honor the power of nonviolence to transform the world,
remembering the World Trade Center tragedy in light of the words of
Dr. Martin Luther King: "We must evolve for all human conflict a
method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation."
We will challenge ourselves on 9-11-2006 to pursue peaceful solutions
to problems like 9-11-2001 using the nonviolent approach born on
9-11-1906. Dr. King said, "Peace is not merely a distant goal that we
seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal
We must pursue
peaceful ends through peaceful means."
I say again: I believe that music is magic. I believe that music can
work miracles. I believe that music can help us remake the world.
Here's how Pete Seeger said it in 1992: "A key to the future is mass
participation. `If the people lead, eventually the leaders will
follow' says the bumper sticker on our car
Now we see serious
problems...But we also have electronic tools of communication
the next few decades billions of people will be teaching things to
each other, things that we've got to learn, if this world is to
survive. And much of our learning will be through the arts,
overleaping barriers of language, overleaping barriers of hate and
Hardworking people in every land ask why $130 million
a minute can be spent every day and every night throughout this world
on guns, bombs, poison gas, armaments of all sorts, and yet leaders in
every country tell their people that there is no more money for
schools nor for health, nor for saving the planet from death.
"Against such a background, what can songs do? I'll stand by what
I've written before. Songs penetrate hard shells
If we bring life to
them, they will bring life to us and to our children. And to our
children's children's children."
Singing together with a diverse bunch of peace-minded people on
9-11-2006 can be an important step in creating a peaceful world for
our "children's children's children." By learning to sing together we
provide a powerful demonstration of our innate human capacity to learn
how to accomplish any goal by working together.
Please go to the website www.songsofpeace.org to read the comments of
those who participated in the Peace Choir in April, to find the
Express-News article about the event, and to begin learning the music
Details, details, details:
1. Only one rehearsal is necessary, although you are welcome to
attend more if you would like. Rehearsals will last one hour and will
be scheduled in different locations throughout the city beginning in
2. No experience is necessary and singers do not have to read music.
3. Admission to the concert is free for those who sing in the
choir. At the rehearsals, singers will each receive a free ticket and
will be able to purchase additional tickets at a discount. (Tickets
at the door will be $15, $10 for students.)
4. Most of the music for the concert will be taken from the peace
CDs "Peace Is Our Birthright" and "Increase the Peace." Go to the
website www.songsofpeace.org. Click on the Peace Choir link to find
which songs will be included and to read the lyrics. Click where it
says "To Listen" to go to CD Baby where you can hear the first two
minutes of every song. Sing along!
5. At the concert, the choir will be accompanied by a full band,
with soloists singing some parts. Music will alternate with speakers
for the 9-11 program.
How you can help:
1. Organize a group from your family, church, neighborhood,
workplace, political organization, school, etc., to join the Peace
2. Contact me to arrange a rehearsal in August. I will be willing
to bring a rehearsal to your group if a dozen or more participants
have signed up. (See attachment for a sign-up sheet.)
3. Forward this email to everyone you think might be interested.
4. Announce the 9-11-06 event at the organizations in which you
participate, directing people to the www.songsofpeace.org website.
5. Invite people to attend the program on 9-11.
6. Sponsor the event by sending a tax-deductible donation. Checks
can be made out to "peaceCENTER" and mailed to 1443 S. St. Mary's, San
Antonio, TX 78210, Attn: Susan. Reply to this email for more
information about sponsorship.
I believe that music is magic. I believe that music can work
miracles. I believe that music can help us remake the world. Thanks
for believing with me that singing for peace is important.
Board of Directors, San Antonio peaceCENTER
Local Task Force Leader, A Season for Nonviolence