Daniel Pearl World Music Day makes its 8th annual performance

Steven Guzman

Mirabelle Chernick and Julissa Rangel

Junior Cee Jay Posis walks onto the stage and renders the crowd speechless with a native Tagalog song called “Torete” by Moira Dela Torre while simultaneously playing the guitar.

“At first I was very shy, but when I went up to sing I suddenly gained confidence. I got a lot of praise and people told me I had a great voice,” Posis said.

The highly anticipated musical event is sponsored by the Daniel Pearl Foundation and celebrated internationally to pay homage to late journalist Daniel Pearl. It was implemented in October 2002, Pearl’s birth month, and annually aims to encourage world peace and friendship.

As the lights dim, indicating the beginning of the 8th Annual Daniel Pearl World Music Day, senior Dean Khazanov welcomes the audience and requests a moment of silence in honor of the school’s namesake, Daniel Pearl, as well as all of the journalists who’ve lost their lives reporting this past year. Khazanov then went on to summarize the essence of DPWMD through the recognition that, “Music is the world’s universal language” by acknowledging music’s ability to unite all peoples.

Meanwhile, sophomore Emiliano Cruz can be seen tuning his electric guitar in preparation for his solo act of a contemporary rendition of the national anthem. His powerful and booming piece was subsequently met with an applause that rivaled that of his own performance.

As junior Taylor Devlugt sang and Cruz plucked the strings of his electric guitar for the closing song, members of the choir filled the middle aisle of the auditorium, clapping their hands to the beat of Lenny Kravitz’ “Are you gonna go my way.” The audience comprised entirely of students, school administration, parents of performers and even late Pearls’ parents — beamed while clapping along as the two performers enthusiastically brought the show to an end.

Applause and cheers permeated the auditorium as the performers took a bow. Soon after, DPMHS Principal Deb Smith approached the stage to share a few words of wisdom in which she pridefully remarks that she has never been more proud to be a part of such a special community.

“Whatever grade you are, you feel part of the family,” freshman choir member Guinneth Lyons said. “You’ll end up missing the seniors. It’s like a second family.”

Music teacher Wes Hambright was recognized lovingly by students. He was presented with a bouquet of flowers, for which he thanked his students. He went on to thank retired choir teacher Marsha Taylor for her assistance and patience.

The Pearls couldn’t agree more. Father Judea Pearl went up to make closing remarks and looked admiringly into the crowd.

“The speechless tries to speak,” Pearl joked. “I can see Danny dancing and playing his violin with everyone.”