Introduction of the KU Wind Ensemble’s world premiere performance of the symphony “In the Shadow of No Towers” by Mohammed Fairouz
Carnegie Hall, Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, New York, NY
Remarks as prepared for delivery
Good evening, and on behalf of the University of Kansas, welcome.
Our university’s mission is to lift students and society by educating leaders, building healthy communities and making discoveries that change the world. The performance like the one you’ll hear tonight fulfills each part of that mission.
This project brought students together to work with a talented composer, Mohammed Fairouz, on “In the Shadow of No Towers,” an original composition to be performed here in this storied venue. This is an opportunity music students anywhere would envy – and one that prepares our students for success in their careers and their lives.
Of course, 9/11 was a defining moment for the community of New York, as well as for our nation and the world as a whole. That event and itsaftermath have been chronicled and covered not only by reporters and historians, but also by artists and musicians. These creative works strengthen our communities by turning fear into understanding, and despair into hope.
They also show that discoveries don’t just take place in a laboratory or a library. They take place in concert halls and practice rooms, and in any place any time you bring creative, driven people together to share ideas. Working together, Mohammed, director Paul Popiel and our student performers took a journey of discovery as they translated Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel into the symphony you’ll hear tonight.
Educating leaders, building healthy communities and making discoveries that change the world – these are the hallmarks of a great university.
I want to close by thanking all those who made this evening – and this entire project – possible: Jim Zakoura, Reach Out Kansas and the Law Offices of Smithyman & Zakoura. It was Jim’s vision that brought Mohammed and the Wind Ensemble together. And it is his generosity that is making this remarkable experience a reality for our students – and for all of us. Jim, thank you.
It is now my pleasure to introduce the University of Kansas Wind Ensemble.