The latest installment of the “Voices of Terezin” concert and lecture series showed at the Redfern Art Center on this Monday, Sept. 26. This particular piece featured songs and poems of the many composers interviewed at Terezin before being transported to Auschwitz and killed.

The performance started off with performances of pieces by Viktor Ullmann and Pavel Haas, performed by guest artist and soprano Megan McCauley and faculty member Matthew Odell.

Unfortunately, Ela Stein Weissberger, the guest speaker, Terezin survivor and cast member of the original production of Brundibar, could not attend the event. In lieu of her appearance, Dr. Hank Knight read a letter penned by Weissberger.

In the letter, she wrote at length about the importance of talking about genocide and tragedy around the world, as well as the importance of remembering for those who can not be there to remember.

“I travel to these places to talk to people … because [those who did not survive] deserve their stories told.” read Weissberger’s letter. “I have many friends who need their stories told who can no longer speak,” he continued.

The third part of the performance consisted of poetry, as read by Dr. Knight, and music written by and often previously performed by the children of Terezin.

The music was performed by a trio consisting of Megan McCauley as a soprano, accompanied by faculty members Jose Manuel Lezcano on guitar and Michael Kelley on viola.

Tim Smith / Photo Editor

Tim Smith / Photo Editor

This was accented with the projected artwork of those children, and a brief summary of their life including what age they were when they went into Terezin, what age they were when they left and their fate after Terezin.

Michelle Palmieri, an audience member and KSC student, was particularly touched by this portion of the performance, especially with the details on the children. .

“It really made it in your face, like this all actually happened,” said Palmieri. Hannah Benoit, a music student accompanying Palmieri, was also touched by the commemorations of the third part of the performance.

“I didn’t personally have any family that lived through the Holocaust, but I had family who fought in Europe and saw the horrors of [the camps], so this performance really struck a chord with me,” said Benoit.

Others were touched by different parts of the performance.  Carolyn Cunningham, another student, found the performance of “Wiegala,” a lullaby often performed in Terezin and a favorite of Weissberger, the most moving part of the performance.

“Because Weissberger mentioned [Wiegala] in her letter as her favorite, it meant a lot more to me,” said Cunningham. She was also surprised at the nature of “Denn alles wird gut,” the last song of the performance was.

“I was surprised by how uplifting the message was,” said Cunningham.

The Voices of Terezin Concert Series continues on November 13th at 2 p.m. in the Redfern Arts Center with a concert by the Apple Hill String Quartet and a student led performance of the children’s Opera, “Brundibar.”

Tickets are $5 for KSC students and can be purchased at the Redfern Arts Center on the day of the performance.

William Durie-Poliwoda can be contacted at

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