From a young age, Emily Silverstein inspired everyone around her with her kindness and compassion.
The 19-year-old Gettysburg College sophomore was killed by her ex-boyfriend April 9, police said. Her best friend Cecelia Ticktin (sophomore-musical theatre) has organized a concert, which will take place at 9:45 tonight in the Pavilion Theatre, to celebrate Emily's life.
"Even though obviously this is a sad occasion, this is a concert that should bring joy because we're celebrating Emily's hope for peace and a more sustainable world through music," Ticktin said.
Ticktin said that throughout the 16 years she knew her, Emily was always interested in helping people.
"She was always fighting for justice," Ticktin said. "She never fought with people. She fought for people's rights."
When she was 10 years old, Emily became a vegetarian and inspired friends to do the same, her mother, Linda Silverstein, said. During college, she founded a chapter of Students for a Democratic Society and lived in a "peace house" with other students who were involved in Amnesty International.
"She's always been interested in the greater world around her," Linda said. "She wanted to try to bring about change, both locally and globally. I was always amazed by it."
The concert is free, but a donation of $5 is encouraged. The money will go to the Emily Silverstein Fund, which was set up by Emily's parents "to continue to promote the interests that Emily was passionate about," including programs to encourage young people to get involved with causes they care about, Linda said.
"We're really thrilled about it because it's a way to get funds for a cause that is really important to us and will honor our daughter," she said.
Tiktin said a concert is a perfect way to commemorate Emily's life because she loved music, especially Bob Dylan and The Beatles.
Tiktin asked Rob Schneider (graduate-direction for musical theater) to direct the concert. After hearing about Emily, Schneider said he instantly agreed to help and started to look for appropriate music.
"My role is to find material that is a celebration of this young girl's life," he said. "Whether it's songs this girl enjoyed when she was alive or songs that celebrate some cause that she was passionate about."
Schneider said the concert will feature an eclectic mix of music that will include pieces by The Beatles, Aaron Copland and "a lot of songs that people have been singing on American Idol recently."
Schneider said Emily's story should hit home for college students because they could easily imagine themselves in her shoes.
"She was such a pacifist ... and she was so violently taken away from us," Schneider said. "It can happen to anyone. We want to alert people to violence."