University community to come together to mark Holocaust Memorial Day

University community to come together to mark Holocaust Memorial Day

University of Aberdeen staff, students and members of the public will come together in remembrance through music and literature on the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day.

An event providing time for reflection and commemoration will take place in Elphinstone Hall, King’s College, on Saturday January 26.

Holocaust Memorial Day has been marked annually in the UK on January 27 since 2001 with the aim of providing an opportunity for everyone to learn lessons from the Holocaust, Nazi persecution and subsequent genocides and apply them to the present day.

The University event will take the form of a musical meditation led by Paul Mealor, Professor in Composition at the University of Aberdeen.

This will include an instrumental performance of Spielberg’s theme tune from Schindler’s List, composed by John Williams, by two second-year music students - Aden Mazur on violin and Adam Gerber on piano.

The University of Aberdeen Chamber Choir will perform Beati quorum via (Blessed are they that walk in the light) by CV Stanford and will bring the evening to a close with a performance of the Chichester Psalm, by Leonard Bernstein, which will be sung in Hebrew.

The Holocaust Memorial will also feature readings by Christopher Fynsk, Professor of Comparative Literature and Modern Thought from the work of Maurice Blanchot and Paul Celan.

The event has been jointly organised by the University of Aberdeen and its Chaplaincy, the Aberdeen branch of the University and College Union and Aberdeen University Students’ Association. It is the first time the organisations have come together to mark Holocaust Memorial Day in this way.

Professor Albert Rodger, Vice-Principal for External Affairs, University of Aberdeen, said: “Every year the world falls silent to honour those who lost their lives in one of the most terrible and tragic moments of the 20th century, to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

“We are pleased that for the first time this year, on January 26, the University of Aberdeen will host its own musical tribute to commemorate all those who suffered and died.

“This event is an opportunity for all to reflect through music and literature and we welcome staff, students, their family, friends and members of the wider community to join us at this special memorial.”

Professor Paul Mealor said: “The three pieces of music have been carefully selected to invoke a sense of both contemplation and hope.

“We hope the event will help people to take an hour out of their day to remember all those affected by the Holocaust.”

Mike McConnell, Aberdeen UCU Branch President, added: “The motto for the 2013 Holocaust Memorial Day is

‘Communities Together: Build a Bridge’ so it is fitting that the University community is coming together in this way for a time of reflection.

“The UCU continues to campaign against anti-Semitism and discrimination in all forms and it is important to take the time to remember the terrible events of this period.”

The Holocaust Memorial takes place on Saturday January 26 at 6pm in Elphinstone Hall. All are welcome to attend and there will be an opportunity for tea, coffee and informal discussion afterwards.