by Daniel Hathaway
May 4, 2020 marked the 50th anniversary of the tragic shooting of Kent State students by Ohio National Guard members during protests around the Vietnam War, but COVID-19 upstaged KSU’s plans for a memorial.
Two years later, the University will be ferrying more than 300 performers from Kent to Cleveland for an extraordinary event at Severance Music Center on Monday, May 2 at 7:00 pm.
Musicians, dancers, singers, and poetry readers will commemorate the events of that day in 1970 in a mammoth concert. According to a press release, Stories of Peace, Protest and Reflection “explores social justice, civil rights and the complex emotions felt before, during and after tragedy.”
Having read the press materials, I was eager to learn more about how this event was put together — a feat of human choreography and logistics that seemed comparable to staging a small version of D-Day. Happily, I was referred to an old colleague, clarinet professor Amitai Vardi, who was charged with coordinating the event. In a phone call, I asked him how it all came about. [Read more…]