UNITED STATES NEWS

Daniel Pearl scholarship winner wants to change society through music

May 31, 2023, 5:52 AM

PITTSFIELD, Mass. (AP) — A student who said he got goosebumps the first time he played the violin in an orchestra is this year’s recipient of a college scholarship given in honor of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped and killed in Pakistan in January 2002 while investigating a story on terrorism.

Geivens Dextra, who is scheduled to graduate from Pittsfield High School on Sunday, will use the $2,000 Daniel Pearl Berkshire Scholarship to study music at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The scholarship who plans to major in journalism or music, Pearl’s passions. Pearl’s journalism career began in the region.

“It’s really an honor to receive this scholarship for music, a subject that meant so much to Daniel Pearl,” Dextra said Wednesday.

Dextra’s first formal introduction to music came in the second grade when his mother put him in the after-school music program, Kids 4 Harmony, he wrote in his scholarship essay.

Inspired by a cousin already in the program, he took up the violin and eventually got to play with Bard College’s Longy’s Sistema Side-By-Side Symphony Orchestra.

“I can vividly remember getting goosebumps when playing alongside the brass and winds for the first time, and instantly falling in love with orchestral music,” he wrote.

In high school, he performed in the school orchestra and the musical theater pit orchestra. He volunteered as a mentor and worked as a teaching assistant for Kids 4 Harmony, and played in several orchestras and summer programs, including the Boston University Tanglewood Institute.

He also composed a piece of music for “Hear Me,” a documentary about gun violence and drug abuse in Berkshire County.

“Doing this project has opened my eyes to how music can be used to spread awareness in my community and in the spirit of Daniel Pearl, I am eager to take on more opportunities that can make a change in society through music,” he wrote.

Pearl, south Asia bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal, attempted to blow up a flight from Paris to Miami with explosives hidden in his shoes, a flight that was diverted to Boston.

Pearl began his journalism career at the North Adams Transcript and The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield.

The scholarship is funded by contributions from the newspapers as well as Pearl’s friends and former colleagues.

United States News

Supporters wave to former President Donald Trump as he arrives to the Milwaukee Mitchell Internatio...

Associated Press

America’s toxic political climate faces calls to ‘tone it down’ after assassination attempt on Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — “Tone it down!” That was the plea from one Republican congressman as he came to grips with the assassination attempt against Donald Trump at a political rally in the Butler Farm area where he grew up. “I am in a state of bewilderment of how and what has happened to the United […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Winston, beloved gorilla at San Diego Zoo Safari Park, dies at 52 after suffering health problems

ESCONDIDO, Calif. (AP) — Winston, a western lowland gorilla who was a favorite attraction at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, has died at the age of 52 after suffering multiple health problems, officials said. The park said Winston was euthanized Saturday after veterinarians determined his condition was declining. “After careful consideration stemming from furthering […]

2 hours ago

President Joe Biden addresses the nation from the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Sun...

Associated Press

In primetime address, Biden warns of election-year rhetoric, saying ‘It’s time to cool it down’

President Joe Biden warned Sunday of the the risks of political violence in the U.S. after Saturday’s attempted assassination of former President Donald Trump, saying, “It's time to cool it down.”

2 hours ago

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks in Washington, May 22, 2024. Haley on Tuesday, July 9, op...

Associated Press

Nikki Haley, Trump’s former primary rival, will now speak Tuesday at the Republican convention

Nikki Haley will speak Tuesday at the RNC in what will be a highly anticipated speech by Donald Trump's last major challenger.

3 hours ago

Gov. Greg Abbott receives a briefing for Hurricane Beryl from local elected officials Sunday, July ...

Associated Press

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott demands answers as customers remain without power after Beryl

DALLAS (AP) — With around 350,000 homes and businesses still without power in the Houston area almost a week after Hurricane Beryl hit Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott on Sunday said he’s demanding an investigation into the response of the utility that serves the area as well as answers about its preparations for upcoming storms. “Power […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Acclaimed video artist Bill Viola dies at 73, created landmark `Tristan und Isolde’ production

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Bill Viola, a video artist who combined with director Peter Sellars on a groundbreaking production of Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde” originally seen in Los Angeles, Paris and New York, has died at age 73. Viola died Friday at his home in Long Beach of Alzheimer’s disease, his website announced. What […]

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

Daniel Pearl scholarship winner wants to change society through music