Internationally acclaimed children’s folksinger John Farrell joined a cast of 280 performers from WestConn, Danbury schools and the Greater Danbury community in a “Bridges of Peace and Hope” concert presented in April 2009 in the Ives Concert Hall in White Hall on the university’s Midtown campus. The program featured performances by the New Hope Baptist Singers, a Nigerian drumming group, and a large cast of student performers from WestConn, Danbury High School, and several middle and elementary schools in Danbury. An accompanying exhibition displayed paintings, drawings, photographs and written works by students participating in the “Bridges of Peace and Hope” project.
The concert was part of a collaborative project coordinated by Professor of Education Dr. Darla Shaw and supported by the WCSU President’s Initiatives Fund to further the development of the Peace Curriculum program in the Danbury public school system and to promote music literacy at all grade levels within the framework of the “Bridges of Peace and Hope” initiative.
Shaw conducted workshops and consultations with teachers at participating Danbury schools during the 2008-09 school year, and the April 7 concert marked the culmination of months of preparation and rehearsal by students and teachers at the participating schools. “This inspirational performance offers the children’s interpretation of what it takes to make this a more peaceful and better world,” Shaw observed.