MCALLEN, Texas – A grant from the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission enabled South Texas College Music faculty Dr. Michael Gersten, along with music faculty from STC to perform the work “Hate, Hope, and Healing: Exploring the Holocaust Through Music” at Valley-area high schools.

The result is an attempt to immerse the audience in the human emotion of the tragic history of the Holocaust. The musicians performing the piece used the opportunity to enable students to walk away with a greater understanding of the responsibility everyone has in preventing acts of hate against all people, according to Gersten.

“My grandparents were holocaust survivors so this is very personal,” Gersten said. “There are far too many examples in the history of the world where innocent people suffer because of hatred; hatred because of someone’s religion, their race, or just who they are. This is about one specific example in history where this happened.”

The performance, which includes an original movie with a live soundtrack performed by STC music faculty and a guest artist from New York, was presented for students at Sharyland High School, PSJA Memorial High School, PSJA Southwest High School, and IDEA College Prep McAllen. The grant, along with matching funds from the STC music department, enabled STC to perform at zero cost to the schools.

Hate, Hope, and Healing: Exploring the Holocaust Through Music is an immersive, emotional presentation that follows the experiences of three men and women who survived the atrocities committed by Nazi Germany and their collaborators during the Holocaust.

For more insight into the performance, please visit for more information.