Thousands donated by Prayer for Peace

Seton Hall and the MidAtlantic Opera donated $8,000 from the Prayer for Peace Concert to the USA for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The Dec. 21 donation was raised at the musical event held on Oct. 17 at Carnegie Hall for more than 2000 people by the University’s touring choir.

The money raised will be able to support more than 60 million refugees who have been displaced from their homes, the Seton Hall website said.

Andrea Bartoli, dean of the School of Diplomacy and International Relations, said the refugees need our support and the timing for the concert was perfect since Seton Hall was able to make a contribution for the refugees.

Leanna Agresta, sophomore broadcasting major and student performer in the concert, said she was surprised how much money was left over after paying for rentals, equipment and for the right to play at Carnegie Hall.

“If this concert only helped a little, I would still do it a thousand times over if it meant making a difference and bettering someone’s life,” Agresta said.

Erin Smith, senior majoring in elementary education and special education with a concentration in liberal studies and a minor in applied music (vocal performance), is the choir manager.

Smith said, in an email interview, that many factors went into putting on the benefit concert and, “knowing that what we all did has made a difference brings me a sense of accomplishment.”

Bartoli said the concert will also be held in 2016 and 2017. He adds that the University will raise more money in the years to come.

“The Prayer for Peace is a University wide initiative,” Bartoli said. “It was very important to see the whole student body involved in this.”

Smith said that this was her first benefit concert in her 17 years of singing. She said she found the concert inspiring and the performance made her realize that music can help make a change.

Agresta said she loves community service and helping others, which this performance accomplished.

She said she was glad the proceeds from the event were donated to a special and global cause.

The concert was made even more special with, “ambassadors from other countries and knowing that we are sort of united as people,” Agresta said.

“It was very important to see the whole student body involved in this,” Bartoli said in respect to all those who came out in support.

Agresta said the concert was eye-opening for her. “I think it is important to see that no matter what culture or religion or race you are, peace is universal,” Agresta said.

Samantha Todd can be reached at samantha.

Author: Staff Writer

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