The accomplishments of the average 14-year-old are few. For most, starting a new high school is challenge enough — nevermind the athletics, academics, and other extracurriculars typical of today’s overstimulated youths.
But when 14-year-old Hana Rosenbaum heard a radio program about the Daniel Pearl Foundation and the World Music Days events held in honor of the murdered journalist, her reaction was anything but average.
The next year, as a 15-year-old sophomore at Crossroads School in Santa Monica, Hana organized her own Daniel Pearl World Music Days event, featuring student performers from across the Los Angeles area.
And at 16, Hana is organizing her second World Music Days event, to be held at 4 p.m. Sunday, October 5th, in the Crossroads Community Room, Norton Campus, 18th Street and Olympic Boulevard, Santa Monica. Admission is free.
“Putting this event together has been a lot of work because it’s more than just a concert, it’s a way to inspire people,” Hana says.
The Daniel Pearl World Music Days is now in its seventh year, overseen by the Daniel Pearl Foundation created after The Wall Street Journal’s reporter was murdered by extremists in Pakistan shortly after September 11th, 2001. Pearl was also a talented musician who believed in the power of music to bridge differences and unite people around their shared humanity, according to a release issued by the Foundation.
As an “awareness-raising network” — not a fundraiser — there is no financial obligation to participate or attend the event. The event’s theme, “Harmony for Humanity,” reflects the ideals that inspired Pearl’s life and work, the release states.
The local event will feature guest artist Peter Himmelman, a Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter, and a special introduction by Dr. and Mrs. Judea Pearl, Daniel Pearl’s parents.
Six schools from Los Angeles will be represented among the student performers — Crossroads to New Roads School, Harvard-Westlake, Santa Monica High School, Viewpoint School in Calabasas, St. Matthew’s School in Pacific Palisades, and Marlborough School in Los Angeles. All students are affiliated with Crossroads’ Elizabeth Mandel Music Institute or the Music Student Service League of the Music Teacher’s Association of CaliforniañWest Los Angeles.
“I asked the performers to dig deep into their souls, to seek what the Daniel Pearl essence means to them,” Hana says. “At the end there’s going to be a group singalong of ‘Let There Be Peace on Earth’ [Ö] because I think it represents what these events are all about.”
Unbeknownst to Hana, the ties that linked her to Daniel Pearl extended beyond a chance radio program.
“I didn’t know this until after the concert last year, but he was a local boy; he played in a lot of the groups that my friends play in now,” Hana says. “His violin teacher is [Crossroad’s] primary conductor.”
As a junior, Hana knows her time as the main organizer of the event is limited, but plans to continue organizing World Music Days events wherever she attends university.
“I want this to grow, so when I am gone to college someone else can keep the event going,” she says. “I just really want people to understand how easy it is to make a difference.”