Musician Sharon Katz Visits Brandeis as Part of Ethics and the Arts Program

On Monday, April 29, and Tuesday, April 30, the esteemed musician and humanitarian Sharon Katz visited Brandeis as this spring's Ethics and the Arts visiting artist. She led musical workshops with students and spoke about her experiences as a musician campaigning against apartheid in South Africa during the 1990s. She explained to students, “Arts help in a huge way to break down cultural barriers.” On Tuesday morning, she and her Peace Train band gave a joyful, energetic all-school concert performance. Says Crystal Brown, arts outreach coordinator, “Sharon’s journey is the living embodiment of tikkun olam. She embodies the power of change through the arts and through music, and she brought a dimension of diversity to our school that we usually don’t have access to.”
Originally from South Africa, Sharon rose to fame when she created a 5,000-member multi-cultural and multi-lingual children's choir, called When Voices Meet, a first-ever in South Africa's then apartheid society. This multi-racial and multi-cultural group's success led to a cross-country tour with 150 members on a train, officially called the Peace Train. From there Sharon has worked with many famous musicians, including Sting, Pete Seeger, and South Africa's Philharmonic Orchestra. She has released many CDs, and was nominated for a Grammy in 2002. In 2004, she started the humanitarian organization Friends of the Peace Train, and continues to travel around the world performing and promoting social development projects. Adds Ms. Brown, “I’m very happy that Sharon was able to share her story and her music with our community.” MORE PHOTOS