Peace Concert, program on immigration highlight 30 Days of Peace

The 11th annual Peace Concert, held as an integral part of the local 30 Days of Peace initiative, will take place Sunday at 7 p.m. at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.

Just as it has traditionally done in the past, the concert will begin and end the same way: first with the “World Peace Prayer” and lastly with “Let There Be Peace on Earth.” In between, many local musicians and vocalists will share their talents to present a message of peace.

“Attendance at the concert usually fills the venue,” said Carol Skiba, a key member of the Alpena Peace Coalition that plans the annual 30 Days of Peace observance. “It’s kind of like a commitment from the whole community to peace. It’s a unifying thing.”

The Alpena High School Women’s Chorale, under the direction and accompaniment of Jean Brown-Baker, will present the “World Peace Prayer,” with David Usher as cantor.

Two young soloists from AHS also will be sharing their gifts of song during the concert, including Brianna Mucciante Story on “Blessings” and Spencer Kraft on “Let Us Break Bread Together.”

Northern Winds Brass Quartet, comprised of Ray Reynolds, Ben Witter, John Schubert and Jeff Stafford, will present several numbers as will the Thunder Bay Arts Council Chorus. Conducting the TBAC Chorus will be Pam Barkel with Susan Armstrong as accompanist and Don Grabiel on violin.

The All Saints Handbell Choir will be featured in “Canon in D” and “Praise God, Praise Him.”

Another fixture on the Peace Concert program is the instrumental number, “Dawn of Peace.” This year the piece will feature Cheryl Bates and Bryanna Smith on flute and Laurie Trahan as accompanist.

Several other pieces spotlighting local talent will be heard before everyone participating in the concert will gather together on stage for the finale, “Let There Be Peace on Earth.” Those in attendance are always invited to join in the singing of that final number.

The concert is free but donations will be accepted and used to help defray the cost of a School Peace Contest also held annually in conjunction with the 30 Days of Peace. Student awards for the winners in the contest will be presented Oct. 13 at noon at the Alpena Mall.

Also planned during the final week of the city-wide peace observance is a community program on immigration issues. Called People Are People, the event will be held Oct. 11 at 6:30 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church. Among the presentations will be a comparison of Christianity and Islam by Rev. Bob Case.

Rev. Nic Shillack will present information on the refugee resettlement agency in Michigan, which is also the fourth largest in the country. Sarrah Buagella of Muslims for American Progress in Dearborn also will be a presenter.

Middle Eastern and Latin American dessert will be a part of the evening sponsored by ALCU People Power Freedom Cities, Association of Lifelong Learners at ACC, League of Women Voters of Alpena County, People for Social Justice, Northeast Michigan Ministerial Association, Alpena Peace Coalition and Building Bridges to Understanding.


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