To the editor:
I write this letter in response to Ann Colebank. As a student at the University of Kansas and a performer in the concert, I would like to offer this rebuttal:
The KU Vespers Concert programs music originating in three major religious/philosophical ideas that are uniquely associated with this season: Judaism, Kwanzaa, and Christianity. These three belief systems share one common principle: the desire, and indeed necessity, for humankind to periodically reflect on its current state, assess the need for change and thus embark toward a new, transformed whole.
I thought that the concert ingeniously tied these ideas together with the finale of “The Man in the Mirror” by the late pop icon Michael Jackson. The piece clearly asks the question of the individual’s responsibility of initiating self-discovery, and thus wonderfully illustrates (in an exceptionally entertaining fashion) the primary principle that connects these three belief systems.
Furthermore, is this concept of constant self-renewal, self-scrutiny towards the desire of eventual self-improvement not the backbone of humanistic inquiry? Shouldn’t we expect, and rightly so, a university to openly express this, and urge citizens to take up this cause?
I find it disconcerting, even alarming, that an individual in our democratically governed society could confuse the concept of self-transformation with political indoctrination to such a degree as to publicly denounce Sunday’s performance. As a musician, I am also saddened that a powerful musical experience was traded for such misplaced concern.