Gun violence has been on our minds for quite some time. On Sunday, September 25, the opportunity to come together as a nation, on the same day, to express frustration with America’s gun violence epidemic and “to rally support for policies that reduce death and injury from gunfire” was realized by The Concert Across America to End Gun Violence.
Hosted by the First Congregational Church in Chappaqua, the Concert mirrored several others which took place all over the United States. The Concert was in partnership with Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence, the Town of New Castle, the Chappaqua Interfaith Council, the Upper Westchester Muslim Society, Chappaqua Cares, the Million Mom March Northern Westchester Chapter and with Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester.
Local musicians of all ages performed moving instrumental and vocal pieces to underscore this theme. They included the HGHS Madrigal Choir, a trio from the Chappaqua Chamber Orchestra, the Chancel Choir, James Blasdell, Sam Blasdell, Alex Forni, Cantor Star Trompeter and Keith Robellard.
Musical performances were interspersed with secular and faith-based quotes and poems delivered by local dignitaries including Congresswoman Nita Lowey, State Assemblyman David Buchwald , Supervisor Robert Greenstein, Police Chief Charles Ferry and Poetess Shobha Vanchiswar.
Reverend Dr. Martha R. Jacobs led the audience in singing “Let There Be Peace on Earth.” The Concert echoed both sadness for all of us impacted by gun violence and hopefulness for change as the Town of New Castle came together to engage in this national movement.
Francesca Hagadus retired in 2015 after teaching French and Spanish in the Chappaqua Central School District for 32 years. She lives in Pleasantville with her two sons.