International Day of Peace Celebration!
We want every day to be Peace Day. The Celebration at QAIS on Friday, September 20th, showcased the talents of our community, and reminded us that we can put our own abilities to work to bring peace to our world.
To open the event, students sang and spoke about the nature of conflict and war in our world, and called attention to just a few of the many countries experiencing devastating conflicts. Grades 5 & 6 sang Bob Marley’s War/No More Trouble, accompanied by Secondary on guitar and percussion. Later, the students read out quotations about peace from great leaders throughout history. Grades 3 & 4 joined the Secondary guitar chorus, and featured vocalists from Grade 7, in singing ‘Waiting on the World to Change’.
Seniors Neil Park (guitar) and Lydia La Roux (violin) accompanied Ruth Kolla Suresh Kumar as she sang ‘You Are the Peace Sign’, a reminder that individuals who practice peace become beacons of hope in the midst of conflict. Lydia also joined Humanities teacher Sean Ledet in a meditative performance of the Beatles’ classic, ‘Blackbird’.
Art director James Abbott offered a stirring tribute to the great Nelson Mandela, emphasizing that, while we may think of peace as quiet and still, it is often born out of noise and struggle. Evoking the movement that ended South Africa’s brutal apartheid regime, Mr. Abbott led the 200 assembled parents and students in a chant of “Amandla! (power) / Awethu! (is ours),” before observing a moment of silence for the millions affected by violent conflict around the world. When the moment had passed, Diploma Program Coordinator Jeff La Roux gave a solo trumpet performance of ‘Amazing Grace’.
Grades 1 & 2 circled the stage, singing “Oh! what a goodly thing for the children of the earth to live together in peace.” When they had settled in to their positions, we were joined by the Montessori Children’s House, with Early Childhood and Toddler students filing out in a candle-light procession to sing ‘This Little Light of Mine’.
Lotus Cottage teacher Katy Porray brought her guitar to the microphone, and led us in singing a chorus which will surely become a refrain for the entire QAIS community: “Where there is love / Nothing is too much trouble / There is always time!” As we go forth from Peace Day to take on the challenges of the 2013-2014 Academic Year, these words will surely stay with us, informing our interactions with students and colleagues – where there is love, nothing is too much trouble!