Portsmouth Peace Treaty Forum Events 2009

"Theodore Roosevelt’s Nobel Peace Prize: New Hampshire & the Portsmouth Peace Treaty" NH Humanities Council Lecture by Charles B. Doleac, moderator Portsmouth Peace Treaty Forum

  • World Affairs Council of NH, Manchester, February 25
  • Weeks Memorial Library, Lancaster NH, March 29
  • Congregation Ahavas Achim, Keene, NH, May 17
  • Discover Portsmouth Center, Portsmouth, August 9

3rd Annual Portsmouth Peace Treaty Commemorative Concert Honors "Peacemakers & Peacemakers" President Carter, Senator George Mitchell, Senator Claiborne Pell by the Seacoast Wind Ensemble, The Music Hall, Portsmouth, June 20, 2009

For the program and more pictures, click here.

Guest artists, Portsmouth Pro Musica joined in music from the Carter administration Camp David Accords celebration. The annual program by the Seacoast Wind Ensemble (www. SeacoastWindEnsemble.org) is organized and conducted by Music Director Richard C. Spicer and sponsored by the Portsmouth Peace Treaty Forum, supported by the Japan-America Society of New Hampshire.

Richard Spicer, Music Director for the Seacoast Wind Ensemble and music historian has spent the past year researching music for the program. During a visit to the US Marine Corps Band library in Washington, DC he found the programs – and complete musical scores arranged for band – from the Inauguration of President Jimmy Carter, who won the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize for bringing peace between two warring countries, as President Theodore Roosevelt won the 1906 Nobel Peace Prize for the Portsmouth Peace Treaty.

Mr. Spicer also found the program from the White House State Dinner on March 25, 1979, that celebrated those Camp David Accords, including a performance by the U.S. Army Chorus of an arrangement of traditional Egyptian and Israeli folk songs. That gave him the inspiration to invite local chorus Portsmouth Pro Musica under the direction of Priscilla French as guest artists for the June 20th concert to perform the piece. Then the challenge was to find the music needed to perform. “I began looking for the music that was arranged for the original concert, which led me to the original Army Band arranger, James Kessler, who is now retired,” said Spicer. “To my delight and gratitude he agreed to provide the arrangement for chorus and the Ensemble. So we will be performing music specially arranged for the Portsmouth Peace Treaty concert, created by the same man who arranged the Camp David Accords concert.

Other selections on the program honor Senator George Mitchell, now special envoy to the Middle East, who helped negotiate the Northern Ireland peace accords and Senator Claiborne Pell of Rhode Island (who died on
January 1, 2009), founder of the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy.

The Executive Directors of the Pell Center in Newport RI, dedicated to “enhancing international dialogue to achieve a more peaceful world and preparing individuals for an informed and active role in local, national, and world affairs” and the Mitchell Institute in Portland ME, committed to “strengthening the involvement of a new generation of civic-minded and committed citizens…while creating educational opportunity for Maine's young people” both expressed deep appreciation on behalf of the Senators for being honored in the program. A performance of Sibelius’ “Finlandia” commemorated the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Martti Ahtisarri, former President of Finland.

The Portsmouth Peace Treaty is an important piece of history as the foundation for Theodore Roosevelt’s Nobel Peace Prize and as an early demonstration that the ordinary American citizen can make a difference,” said Charles Doleac, chairman of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty Forum. “This annual commemorative concert helps trace that story from a musical perspective.”

For an interview with Mr. Spicer by Matt Kanner, editor of The Wire, click here. 

Additional commemorations included:

"An Uncommon Commitment to Peace: Portsmouth Peace Treaty 1905" Exhibit NH State Archives, 71 So. Fruit Street, Concord NH

"An Uncommon Commitment to Peace: Portsmouth Peace Treaty 1905" Exhibit & Trail, Portsmouth Historical Society Museum, Portsmouth,

Portsmouth Peace Treaty Anniversary, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Commemoration & Bell-Ringing throughout Portsmouth, September 5, 2009, 3:47 pm

Sarah Farmer Exhibit & Peace Flag-Raising Commemoration (above), Green Acre Baha’i School, Eliot ME, www.greenacre.org, September 6, 2009 

2009 participants (l to r) Diane Woods, Carol Dostie, Barbara Rimkunas, Kathleen Hoesly
Pontine Theatre, "The Peace of Portsmouth" Community Workshop Theatre (above), Portsmouth, www. Pontine.org, 603-436-0666, 6 weeks, September 2009

Portsmouth Peace Treaty "Beat Night: Poetry & Jazz" The Press Room, Portsmouth, www.jazzmouth.org, September 17, 2009, 7 pm

Portsmouth Peace Treaty Forum Theodore Roosevelt Nobel Peace Prize Commemoration, Wentworth By the Sea Hotel, New Castle NH, December 12, 2009

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