New Unionville HS auditorium to open with 9/11 remembrance

EAST MARLBOROUGH — The Unionville High School Music Department and the Brandywine Valley Chorale (BVC) present a remembrance of September 11 in music and images. The performance will feature The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace written by Welsh composer, Karl Jenkins.

The day marks the tenth anniversary of September 11 and will remember those who lost their lives, their families, friends and all who were touched by the events of September 11. Members of emergency response groups and the military will be honored as well.

Originally commissioned to mark the millennium, The Armed Man celebrates the struggle for world peace through a multimedia expression of choral music with orchestral and video accompaniment. Reflecting on war and peace in a multicultural, global society, Jenkin’s piece has evolved into a choral tribute to the victims of 9/11.

Led by Unionville High School Music Teacher and BVC Artistic Director, Jason Throne, the musical story is enhanced by a visual accompaniment of video footage from around the globe depicting scenes from 9/11, the war in Kosovo, Afghanistan and World War I and II. The piece climaxes in a hope for peace in a new millennium, with joyful instrumentation and cheerful vocals.

The Brandywine Valley Chorale is a 40-member auditioned chorus founded in 2007, by a group of musicians, arts supporters and friends in the Unionville area and surrounding communities. The Chorale performs concerts throughout the Brandywine Valley Community. The Unionville High School Chorale is a 42-member chorale, led by Choral Director Jason Throne.

This free performance is open to all and will mark the first event of its type in the newly constructed Unionville High School Auditorium.

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  1. Turk182 says:

    Wow, kind of a mouth-hanging open moment here, at Scott and Ray. Just really? Your comments are the best rebuttal to them and are, well, kind of skeevy.

    In case you hadn’t noticed, we’re getting a little tired of this crap. Why McGann puts up with this is beyond me.

    Bubbies, come back to us…

    • Scott Litzenberg says:

      I’m sorry. I must be missing the parts of my comments that were “Skeevy”

      I am proud of what we did on Sunday and thank the people who came for being open to the event.

      The best part about our country is that people have the right to their opinions – even me.

  2. Jason Throne says:


    I didn’t’ realize you were an authority of the mainstream acceptance of this work. I guess the fact that it was performed at Avery Fisher Hall on 9/11 in NYC with a letter from Mayor Bloomberg in the program was a mere coincidence. By the way, we were also mentioned in that playbill from Avery Fisher Hall for our performance of the Armed Man in Kennett Square. I guess the people of NYC are fools as well for allowing this travesty. I have no problem taking criticism from someone who was at the program, fully understands the piece of work and makes an opinion on it after having that information. But I guess an arrogant and intolerant person like myself will just never get it.

  3. Jason Throne says:

    I was not going to respond but after reading Sean’s remarks I must. Lets get the record straight!! This piece is not intended to be a “leftist nonsense event” This piece became synonymous with 9/11/01 because the official recording of the piece was released on 9/10/01. Yes, it is called a Mass for Peace, but if you were at the concert you would have noticed there was a slide show behind the singers which portrayed many pictures from the events of 9/11. Its sole dedication was for 9/11 and all of the people who suffered because of that horrible even.

    Now, on a personal note making remarks and calling the music director arrogant regarding an event in which you were obviously not present is amusing and pitiful. It is people like you who perpetuate hate and intolerance (visit the last few remarks of your tirade). It’s amazing how you follow that with how we should learn to respect others. You obviously have no respect for anyone other than yourself. Keep in mind that thousands of people died on 9/11, including approximately 800 Muslims and hundreds of people from other countries. I am proud of the Brandywine Valley Chorale, Unionville HS Chorale and bands and all the people who were involved in this performance and dedication. If anything you have given me a great lesson for my students. For that I thank you.

    • Sean R. says:

      Jason, if its a Mass for Peace then explain why it was edited for the school? Better yet, I’ll explain why. The images that were shown at the school were reportedly put together by a student because even the school knew that the real Armed Man was inappropriate for children. If its such a beautiful piece, why did the community only experience the musical part of the show? Also, what does its release date have to do with 9/11. Just because two things occurred near each other in time, doesn’t mean that they are related. Furthermore, what does Mayor Bloomberg have to do with anything. I think if anyone has respect issues, it is you my friend.Your lack of it for those who were murdered on 9/11 is concerning. And the reason I didn’t make the event was because I had to work. Unfortunately, some of us have to do that .

      Sean R.

  4. Scott Litzenberg says:

    The Armed Man is not the entire program for this event. It is part of it. The remarks, remembrances and other music are also part of this program.

    It saddens me that people choose to pick at a part of the program and not look at it as a whole. Come read the text to this “anti-war” music.

    Myself, I have chosen to try and use this event as a way to forgive and respectfully recognize what sacrifices where made on that day and what has transpired since.

    This event is just a way that a group of people can try to help bring people together instead of tearing more apart. For those that choose not to try and accept others and forgive, I will also pray for you.

    God bless all of the souls who were lost on that fateful day as well as the ones who have been lost since then. We honor and remember them all.

    • Vince Schiela says:

      Amen Scott, amen.

    • Sean Rafferty says:

      Scott, the 10 year anniversary is about remembering those who were murdered on 9/11, and our brave soldiers who have given their lives fighting for freedom. While the Armed Man is only part of the program. It is still none the less insulting to those we are trying to remember. A peace concert and remembrance anniversary are two different things. I do not like the leftist nonsense that is being injected into this event., it is insulting and shows arrogance on the part of the music director. The Armed Man could be put on in a special “peace” concert if the school wanted to do that for the community. However, I don’t forgive those who killed innocent Americans and others on that fall morning. And I find it difficult to sit in a circle and sing kumbaya when there are children who will NEVER have any memory of their parents because of these extremist, radical Muslims who had no respect for the lives of others. I truly hope they rot in hell for all eternity. And they can forget about the 70 plus virgins; it isn’t going to happen. We really need to learn to respect others, not just the feelings of those on the left.


  5. ANTHONY J OLECK says:

    The Armed ManFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia…….The Armed Man is a Mass by Welsh composer Karl Jenkins, subtitled “A Mass for Peace”. The piece was commissioned by the Royal Armouries Museum for the Millennium celebrations, and to mark the museum’s move from London to Leeds, and it was dedicated to victims of the Kosovo crisis. Like Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem before it, it is essentially an anti-war piece

    comments by Anthony J Oleck….

    Not sure what to think of an anti-war piece being the central theme of this 9/11 dedication. When I think of anti war protesters it harkens back to my Vietnam 60’s experiences….folks who denigrated our troops, burned buildings, rioted in the streets….blew up Government buildings, Jane Fonda laughing and cavorting in the gun turrets that were shooting down American planes…anything but “peaceful” and anything but honoring the troops.

    Peace….a good thing to celebrate. But I am always amused at the peace protestors holding signs that say…. “Honk for peace”….we all would honk for peace, and for a cancer free world, and for healthy kids….who wouldn’t want those things?

    But sometimes we get cancer and to rid ourselves of the cancer we need radiation, chemo therapy… one honks for radiation, no one honks for chemotherapy they are not pleasant things but they become the necessary evil if we want to eliminate the cancer.

    Well War and the soldiers who fight those wars are the chemotherapy that is unfortunately sometimes needed to get to the PEACE we all desire. Some like to point to Gandi as a man who used peaceful protest to free his country from British occupation…it worked for Gandi….but it only worked because he was fighting a civilized society. Hitler told Chamberlain how he would solve the Gandi problem….he told him to start killing from the top down and eventually the masses would fall in line. If Hitler was occupying India instead of the British….the outcome for Gandi would not have been so peaceful.

    I fear this “Armed Man” celebration is more a left leaning protest that does not recognize or celebrate the brave men and women who are fighting and dying to protect us from a radical religious enemy. An enemy that attacked us on 9/11, attacked us prior to 9/11 and continues to plot the destruction of Israel and even as we speak is plotting to destroy thousands more Americans in New York City….their 9/11 “celebration”.

    So yes… I’ll honk for peace ….peace the same way we gave the world peace from an Austrian born madman in the 40’s….peace though strength and aggressive action to defend ourselves….

    I hope this Unionville 9/11 dedication is planning to honor and support those brave soldiers who have given us peace and safety in this country for these last 10 years by taking the fight to the enemy….they are the ones who deserve our honor and thanks on this 9/11.

  6. Bob Kane says:

    I’ve seen a lot of publicity regrding the 9/11 concert at UHS auditorium BUT no time orr date is included. Is it on 9/11? Time?

  7. Ray Farrell says:

    I don’t like the sound of this supposed 9/11 remembrance concert…I hope I am wrong.

    At first I was looking forward to attending this event with my family, to reflect on the events of 9/11, and to excitedly see the new auditorium. Now I have serious doubts about going.

    I’m sure this composer (Karl Jenkins) is very talented but to make his unrelated anti-war composition, “the Armed Man”, the center piece of a 9/11 memorial is completely inappropriate and diminishes the sacrifices made that day.

    This event should be strictly about the terrorist attacks of 9/11, how brave first responders died heroically to save others, how the passengers of United flight 93 said “lets roll” as they valiantly fought back and changed history, how our Country (however briefly) came together as one to face evil and to rebuild what was lost.

    Most disturbing to me is the Muslin call-to-prayer that is part of this “Armed Man” production. I realize that Islam was hijacked too by the 9/11 terrorists but I don’t care to have it echoed over any 9/11 memorial.

    Another thing, multiculturalism has nothing to do with remembering the events of 9/11 except to say that the 3000 people murdered were from many different ethnic backgrounds.

    War Is necessary at times. Military intervention COULD have saved most of the 800,000+ Tutsis slaughtered in Rwanda in 1994 but modern Nations stood by and did nothing to save these poor people.

    This seems like part of the trend to diminish 9/11 events and turn them into some sort of politically correct world peace day.

    Is there a time and place for a multi-cultural world peace concert? Absolutely and I would attend. Should it be held on the 10th anniversary of 9/11? Absolutely not.

    Peace-through-strength sends a strong signal to the bad guys of the world, not self-loathing doubt about defending ourselves.

    Ray Farrell
    Pocopson, PA

    • Sean Rafferty says:

      I too have a problem with turning a memorial concert into an anti war propaganda show. Especially when the composer of the “Armed Man” isn’t even an American. The tragedy that occurred on 09/11 was not British, Indian or Iranian. It was an AMERICAN tragedy. Of course there were foreigners who died on that day as well, however the attack was meant for us. I don’t clearly understand why this high school music director, or whatever he is called has to continue to push his radical ideas in our faces. I am still getting over the fact of seeing toilets on home owners front yards. As a matter of fact, the corresponding slide show for the Armed Man was so inappropriate for children it had to be changed for this event. While I have no problem with people expressing their opinion against the wars. Which is a right that I too would fight and die for, even though I may not agree with those who are protesting.It would really be something to hear from this music teacher or someone on the other side who could help me understand the appropriateness of this piece being done on the 10 year anniversary of one of the worst attacks in American History.

      Sean Rafferty

      • Mike McGann says:

        If folks are arguing that war is good, well, I have to admit that you’ve lost me.

        War is a terrible, terrible evil. It is, unfortunately, the only option sometimes. Whether dealing with Hitler or Osama, there is evil in the world and we are left with no choice but to take military action.

        And frankly, the nationality of the composer really doesn’t matter — “The Star Spangled Banner’s” lyrics were written by Francis Scott Key and then set to the music of an old English drinking song. Using the metric applied here, it would be equally inappropriate to play it during the 9/11 remembrances, which would be obviously ridiculous.

        The 9/11 attacks were an act of war, so, to me, an anti-war piece on a day that thousands of innocent people — including people I knew personally — died doesn’t seen out of whack.

        I personally feel that, maybe even more so than the downed buildings, that our own division and anger toward each other since is the greatest damage done. Maybe “divide and conquer” was really the point of 9/11. There seems to be just a bit too much of “win one for our side” as opposed to standing together as Americans in a time of crisis.

        If so, then it would appear we have a long way to go, still, to recover from that clear, sunny Tuesday morning.

        My America, the country I love, is better than that.

        • Sean R. says:

          Mike, I know this is your blog but once again you are just playing it safe with your comments because you don’t want to “offend” anyone. War is horrible, and no one here has said anything to the contrary. While 9/11 was an attack against us, we were under no declared act of war when this occurred. Now, this was suppose to be a memorial concert. However, those of a certain persuasion like to use these type of events to further their anti-war agenda. And not being anti-war doesn’t make me pro-war. However, I WILL NOT spit on a solider coming home from Iraq or call him names like baby killer. The people who were murdered on 9/11 were not in a war. They were normal people just trying make ends meet like the rest of us. I’ve spoken to some who were at the memorial concert, and as stated in earlier posts, the “Armed Man” was inappropriate for the day. I really wish people would not use the dead to further their own political agenda. This was a sad day in American history, and we can at least honor the deceased without injecting politics into it.

          Sean R.

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