Daniel Pearl World Music Day includes talents old and new

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Choir director Jackie Gorski, Master of Ceremonies Chris Bower and the choir close off the Daniel Pearl World Music Day concert on Oct. 25. Photo by Dion Mazor.

By Robert Tapia and Jake Dobbs
Contributing Writer and Staff Writer

As the audience took their seats, they slipped into silence and waited for the choir to begin the third annual performance dedicated to the beloved Daniel Pearl.

Daniel Pearl World Music Days is a worldwide event that hosts thousands of concerts around the world every year in Pearl’s honor. The concerts are meant to represent his passion for music and acceptance of all cultures.

“I’m exhilarated, proud and exceptionally pleased with the strong male section, beautiful rich alto sound, and the sopranos are holding their high notes,” said music teacher and program director Jackie Gorski. “This show is uplifting and positive.”

The event took place at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School (DPMHS) on Oct. 25 in the Multi-Purpose Room (MPR).

Dr. Judea and Mrs. Ruth Pearl attended the performance as the guests of honor. They were welcomed with flowers after international students from DPMHS greeted the crowd in different languages.

The Master of Ceremonies, Chris Bower, introduced the many ensembles that performed.

The theatre ensemble presented a poem using words written by Daniel Pearl, as they read with inspiration along to the beat of the bongos.

The opening drumbeat set the tone right away: Powerful. When the choir began to sing, the vibration could be felt in moderation.

It was then followed by a piano solo from sophomore Elizabeth Hovanesian.

Freshman Juan Argote also recited his poem “Honesty Is.”

“Honesty is as useful as Earth’s atmosphere…Without it nothing would be right…It’s an important part of life that keeps us and the world together,” said Juan Argote during his poem.

Beginning the performance with these ensembles and solos was very typical for the event, but this year included more performances than the previous one.

For example, beatboxing, a new sound to this year’s event was delivered by senior Hassan Muhammad.

The crowd went wild for the ensembles and the new talents that performed throughout the show.

The talent continued with Yuliya Kipnis as she danced to “My Sweet and Tender Beast” by Yevgeniy Doga.

Jasper Harris, Mher Mkrtchian and Gor Mkrtchian are the pianists who led the audience from one act to the next.

The choir started off by performing a rendition of the song “Waving Flags” from the 2010 World Cup.

One unique element of the song was the choreography that went with it. Each student held a small flag and waved it rhythmically to the beat.

And when the time came, they all took out their flags and waved them in unison. The crowd was surprised by the unknown element.

Right after, the choir began their second song, a Yiddish piece called “Rozhinkes Mit Mandlen.”

It first started with sophomore Jessica Mallari singing a solo, accompanied by junior Daniel Lee on the violin.

The choir rose back on the stage to sing their final song of the morning. The male portion of the choir began the a capella version of “Stand by Me” mixed in with “Beautiful Girls,” as beatboxer Hassan Muhammad maintained the rhythm, and the bass and the rest of the choir joined in.

“I was not nervous this year because I had my friends on stage with me for support,” said sophomore Jackie Martinez, who also performed last year.

Ruth Pearl was then handed a letter from freshman Trast Knapmiller, thanking her son, Daniel Pearl, for everything that he did.

“It’s very touching, extremely touching,” Ruth Pearl said. “It shows such a depth of humanity.”

Knapmiller wrote this letter the night before this event with sudden realization.

“We wouldn’t really be here today without them. It’s the least we can do,” Knapmiller said. “It was very symbolic to come together, sing together, be together, and get to know each other more.”