Originally published March 27, 2023 on news.fiu.edu.
Written by Birgitta Rausch-Montoto
The FIU and South Florida communities are invited to the Earthquake Relief Concert: FIU Miami Guitar Orchestra and Special Guests at 7:30 p.m. on April 10 in the Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Performing Arts Center.
The world watched in disbelief when two earthquakes of magnitude 7.8 and 7.5 sent tremors across southern Türkiye and northern Syria on February 6. More than 50,000 people were killed, and homes, businesses, infrastructure and more are in shambles. While rescue efforts have ended, the recovery and rebuilding efforts will take years. Massive humanitarian operations and life-saving assistance from across the world continue in attempt to provide for peoples’ basic needs.
Despite a distance of 6,000 miles between South Florida and the devastated region, student Şevval Deniz Erkurt and doctoral candidate Dilara Hekimci-Adak, both of them born in Türkiye and associated with the FIU Turkish Student Association, felt it was their duty to take action and find a way to join the relief efforts.
“We are troubled by the hardship that so many people in the earthquake region are facing,” says Hekimci-Adak. “And because many on our campus and local community care deeply, we felt that it is upon us to create an opportunity for us to get together to stand in solidarity and make a difference.” Together with a committee of faculty and staff, Hekimci-Adak and Erkurt have designated an upcoming concert of the FIU Miami Guitar Orchestra as the Earthquake Relief Concert, featuring faculty and students as well as world-renowned Turkish musicians.
The orchestra’s director, Mesut Özgen, an associate teaching professor, himself a native of Türkiye, called upon renowned Turkish musicians and FIU colleagues who promptly accepted the invitation to offer performances without an honorarium. Prior to the musical program, two FIU faculty will share very personal reflections on their families’ losses in the earthquakes. The performances promise to be a colorful cultural celebration including selections by kanun (qanun, zither-like Turkish instrument) virtuoso Can Yıldırım and pianist Sinan Çayır. Always a crowd favorite, the FIU Miami Guitar Orchestra under the direction of Özgen, and other FIU music faculty and students will play pieces from composers across the globe and throughout centuries.
Others who are helping make the event possible as members of the planning committee are Umut Çağlar of the math department, Yeşim Darıcı of the Office of Faculty Leadership & Success, Mohamed Ghumrawi of the politics and international relations department, Hilary Landorf of the Office of Global Learning Initiatives and Gitta Montoto of FIU Global.
The Herbert and Nicole Wertheim School of Music & Performing Arts has generously waived the admission fee but requires guests to reserve a spot by obtaining an online ticket. Guests and all others are encouraged to make donations of $25 or more to the relief fund.
You are invited!
Earthquake Relief Concert: FIU Miami Guitar Orchestra and Special Guests
Monday, April 10, 2023
Wertheim Performing Arts Center
The FIU Wertheim School of Music has generously waived the admission fee but asks that guests reserve their spot at http://go.fiu.edu/earthquake.
Guests are encouraged to make a voluntary donation of $25 or more to the Turkish Student Association’s donation drive benefitting the Turkish Philanthropy Funds.