Mike on the other hand, pursued a more chill attitude. His tranquil face understood that a task this big would be difficult to get perfect. If something went wrong, he’d deal with it, but not in urgency. “My hope was that people would have a nice time so we could do this all again next year,” Mike said.
These two differing attitudes could also be reflected in the Ginsburg sisters. While Melissa was worried about performers coming late, Jessica stood relaxed by her side. “Stop worrying, they’ll be here eventually,” Jessica calmly stated.
After hours of setting up, they were ready to entertain. As guests entered Westhill, tables had been erected in the main hall. One sold water, one undertook admittance, one sold t-shirts, one had baked goods and another involved a raffle. Five dollars covered admission, which was definitely worth it.
The Darien acts included Sarah
McGowan and Tone, both fairly big names around town, but other bands included FROGG, and Sketch Tha Cataclysm, an interestingly good rapper.
Unfortunately, regarding attendance, the concert was not as successful as planned. “We were disappointed that more people did not show up. The students were expecting that more of their teachers would be there to support them,” Melissa said. However, there was a silver lining. “The energy was amazing. The singing, the dancing, the laughing, the love and dedication that went into the day could not be denied,” Melissa said.
Ultimately, this concert was by and for the students. It brought two groups with completely different backgrounds together to collaborate on something that they had in common. “This concert made a difference to us and our students. They created something that they will remember forever, and as one of the Westhill students put it, "I felt like I was part of something important." Now that some time has passed, the students have realized that they want to make a difference.” Melissa’s optimism could not be defied. “They have discovered qualities in themselves that they didn't know they had. We are so proud of them.”
The concert may not have seemed a huge success to the spectators, but to the students, it represented much more. “As far as the Westhill kids, I think they were touched by the effort to reach out, and hopefully we made an impression on them that exceeds the Darien stereotype. Overall I'm just glad to have been a part of it and give love and thanks to everyone who was involved,” Chris said.
In a time of crisis, the two clubs rose to the challenge of trying to make a difference, and they did all they could. Regardless of how much money they raised, or how long it took to plan, their resilience gave them togetherness. Their strength gave them unity. Funny how the world works, isn’t it?
Darien and Stamford Join Forces for Haiti
Connor McCarthy - 10/06
More by Connor McCarthy
any times when we meet with another school’s students; it’s on opposite sides of a sports field in a competitive manner. Those rivalries were set aside when Darien joined Westhill High School to pull forces to raise funds for Haiti. Darien’s Current literary magazine and Westhill’s Haitian Club and Latin Ambassadors organized and executed a concert last month that brought together unknowing students into a statement that should be exemplified everywhere.
The concert, titled Unity Creates Strength, was formed to raise money for Haitian and Chilean earthquake relief. All proceeds from ticket admission and t-shirt sales go straight to the relief efforts. “We raised about $2,000 dollars. The effort, dedication, commitment and love were absolutely incredible,” our own English teacher and organizer Jessica Ginsburg said. “The concert was very important to a lot of people.”
Stamford has the biggest Haitian population in Connecticut, so this concert was a huge deal for many of the students who were directly affected by the aftershocks that struck close to home. There are over 3,500 Haitian people currently living in Stamford.
Miss Ginsburg teamed up with her sister Melissa, an English teacher at Westhill, to organize the event on May 8. They set up committee meetings between the two schools, and ultimately, this led to newfound friendships, and a ton of creativity for the concert.
“They worked together on every aspect of the planning of this concert,” Melissa Ginsburg said. “It was so gratifying to see kids who come from such seemingly different backgrounds find a common ground that had nothing to do with sports competitions or misconceptions.”
The five-hour concert took place in the Westhill auditorium, but this five-hour span does not reflect the amount of planning that went into the event. First, there is the obtaining and getting in touch with any bands willing to play a free gig. Then they had to sort out the food aspect, find a venue, deal with the technical facets of the concert, rehearse, advertise, confirm all bands, come up with a set list, and then actually pull it all off.
This huge task was undertaken by both clubs, but the frontrunners were senior Chris Black, and junior Mike Gentile, both of DHS. Chris has done a lot of work for Current over the past year, and his active role in the planning of this concert did not go unnoticed.
During the day of, Chris could be seen rushing around, making sure everything was where it needed to be. “It was definitely a learning experience for me, the planning of the event and stress that came along with it taught me that things need to be organized to a tee in order for anything to work out” Chris said. “I got to meet some awesome people that I wouldn't have gotten the chance to otherwise.”