(Ricky Lindsay/MJ)

By TERRY LAKINS, Student Life Editor

A flash mob surprised spectators by singing in different languages to promote music and foreign language on Thursday, March 24 at 11:50 in the atrium area at CASL.

Over 70 people consisting of faculty and students performed ‘Ode to Joy’ from Beethoven’s Ninth. The song was performed in Arabic, French, German, Spanish and English. A crowd of about 100 spectators watched the event.

Jerilyn Mannion, the coordinator of beginning French, said this collaborative effort took over two months to prepare to promote the message of foreign languages and music in higher education.  

Mannion also said that ‘Ode to Joy’ did not have an Arabic translation so the participants worked together to create it for the event. Vera Flaig, the lecturer II of music, worked closely with Mannion preparing this performance and provided guitar accompaniment during the event. Student Dasul Chang provided violin accompaniment.

But this event wasn’t just about promoting music and foreign language. This gathering was also about spreading peace in a multicultural way.

“All participants learned a little about each other’s’ languages,” Mannion said. “Here at University of (Michigan-)Dearborn we are working together across cultures and with the universality of music, to promote peace in a time where hate seems to be rampant and growing.”

Mannion hopes to do this again in the future, possibly on a bigger scale. The event was a joint collaboration between the Language, Culture and Communication department and the Literature, Philosophy and the Arts department. The discipline for each respective department is Modern and Classical Languages and Music.