Choral Concert for Peace Will Return to Stambaugh Auditorium

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – A concert this Sunday will use the harmony of voices to promote the same type of unity among people.

Now in its fourth year, the Giving Voice to Peace choral concert will take place at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, June 11, at Stambaugh Auditorium. It will feature dozens of voices singing works composed with a message of healing and coexistence.

The concert will be directed by Hae-Jong Lee, choral music professor at Youngstown State University, and will include accompanist Kathy Miller and the Stambaugh Chorus, the Stambaugh Festival Chorus and guest choral ensembles. Lee is also director of the Stambaugh Chorus.

Tickets are $25 at the door or in advance at stambaughauditorium.com.

As its name implies, the concert is about promoting peace in the region and the world.

Spurred by a desire to end the divisions in the world, the Stambaugh Chorus first performed the concert  in 2011 and repeated it in 2016 and 2022.

“The overwhelming response and the urgent need for peace inspired us to continue this event as an annual tradition,” Lee said. “Our goal is to address the pain caused by acts of violence, prejudice and discrimination by dedicating this concert to the victims. Through music, we aim to convey a message of love, hope and solidarity.”

The centerpiece of the concert will be Franz Schubert’s Mass in G, performed by the Stambaugh Chorus, Youngstown Cantorum, soloists and the Stambaugh Festival Orchestra.

Lee calls Mass in G “a profoundly beautiful piece that intertwines hauntingly beautiful melodies, intricate textures and contrasting dynamics.”

The concert will also feature guest ensembles, including the Youngstown Cantorum, Tapestries of Ohio, Canfield Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir and Trinity Bells, Barbershop Quartet Retuned and The Choir of the Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon.

The Stambaugh Festival Orchestra will perform “Adagio” by Sergei Rachmaninoff, arranged by Robert Longfield.

“This moving composition serves as a tribute to victims of war, earthquakes and mass gun violence worldwide,” Lee said.

The audience will be encouraged to purchase electric peace candles – which will be sold at the venue for $5 apiece – and light them during the performance as a symbolic gesture of remembrance and solidarity.

Proceeds from the sale of the electric peace candles will go to World Central Kitchen, which provides food aid during crises, and Grace Tea, a Ukrainian relief effort that assists victims in conflict zones.

There will also be two donation boxes.

The concert’s grand finale will be a full chorus and orchestra performance of “We Are the World 25 for Haiti.”

During this anthem of unity and compassion, initially written as a response to the African famine crisis, the audience will be encouraged to join the refrain, “We are the world, we are the children …”

Copyright 2023 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.