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Journalist memorialized with music

Event: Parents of Daniel Pearl participate with crowd

Posted: October 23, 2011 10:09 p.m.
Updated: October 23, 2011 10:09 p.m.

Violinists Bess Knight, left, and Sofia Weiss take part in a Sunday concert at Valencia United Methodist Church, in support of the Daniel Pearl Foundation, created to honor the ideals of the journalist.


With the sunny portrait of Daniel Pearl overhead, young local singers and musicians came out in support of a foundation created in the journalist’s name.

Daniel Pearl was the Wall Street Journal reporter who was kidnapped and murdered by terrorists in Pakistan in early 2002, just four months after the Sept. 11 attacks.

A foundation in his name was created to further the ideals that inspired his life.

On Sunday, a packed crowd including Daniel Pearl’s parents filled the Valencia United Methodist Church on McBean Parkway across from Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital in honor of the journalist.

Concert attendees were welcomed into the church by the Valencia High School drumline.

Once inside, church singers gathered in front of a backdrop of simulated graffiti made up of slogans espousing peace.  They sang a “patriotic medley” of familiar songs such as “God Bless America” and “Yankee Doodle.”

“If you see our walls, they kind of look like they have a lot of graffiti all over the place,” said Rev. John Shaver. “What we’ve been talking about is how we can tag things along the way.

“So what I can ask you to do along the way is to honor Daniel Pearl and to remember his memory and to make his memory a blessing, and to think about how you can tag people today with peace — not graffiti but with peace — and all the other things such as freedom that Daniel Pearl represents.”

The two-hour afternoon concert was put on as part of the second annual Santa Clarita Valley Harmony for Humanity, part of the larger Daniel Pearl World Music Days.

Musicians with the Academy of the Canyons, directed by Dr. Paul J. Sherman, performed Symphony in D Major “Le Matin” (The Morning) by Franz Joseph Haydn.

“It’s great that we can come together with people of other faith traditions,” Shaver said, adding he was “so honored” to have Daniel Pearl’s parents attending the concert.

“He has blessed us in many ways, through the freedom of the press,” Shaver said about Pearl, after introducing Pearl’s parents. “So we just want to remember him by representing that peace as we work together as a community in the Santa Clarita Valley.”


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