Temple B'nai Shalom, East Brunswick, NJ, October 22, 2009

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Bands of MDs and PhDs set for Daniel Pearl event:
Free concert to honor slain Wall Street Journal reporter

EAST BRUNSWICK, Oct. 15 It'll be a night of dueling doctors.

AlterEgo, a band of MDs from Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, and The Professors, a band of PhDs from Rutgers University, will perform a free concert Oct. 22 as part of the Daniel Pearl World Music Days celebration at Temple B'nai Shalom, Fern Road.

The event, which will begin at 8 p.m., will mark the sixth straight year that the temple's Daniel Pearl Education Center committee has hosted a free concert as part of Daniel Pearl World Music Days, an international celebration of the life and work of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter who was murdered by extremists while researching a story in Pakistan in 2002.

"This is always a very special and emotional night for us at the Daniel Pearl Education Center," said Dr. Andrew Boyarsky, chairman of the center's committee. "While we all love the joy that music provides and the way it brings people together for a concert, it is difficult for us to forget the tragedy of Daniel's violent death. He stood for community and understanding and, as an accomplished violinist, for bringing cultures and people together through music. We remember him and honor him on this night and join with musicians around the world in celebrating Daniel Pearl World Music Days."

This year's concert at the temple will have an added twist of a friendly rivalry between the two sets of doctors.

"I'm not sure where my allegiance will rest," Boyarsky said. "As a surgeon, I obviously have a rooting interest for the MDs. I'm also an associate professor of surgery, so I have a special place in my heart for the PhDs. This should be a lot of fun great music for a great cause."

AlterEgo got its start in 1997 when nephrologist Andy Covit pulled together infectious disease specialist Rick Snepar, a gastroenterologist, a cardiac surgeon, and a biochemistry MD-PhD student to work on five songs that the band would play at the hospital's "Physicians and Their Art" night that fall. Today, the band made up of Covit, Snepar, Elio Diaz, Pat Gainey, Lou Perillo, Phil Mach and Michael Sadowsky perform regularly at live music bar venues throughout Central Jersey. The band's music covers all genres of rock 'n' roll, from the '50s through to the charts of today.

"We really get a kick out of playing a set with a great old Buffalo Springfield song followed immediately by a new one from the Kings of Leon," Covit says. "And though we play some of the typical bar band standards, we also love to surprise those listening with some of our more eclectic tunes from artists like Bob Marley, Guster or the Ides of March. It makes for a fun night for all and, in this case, an important and special night as well."

The Professors are a group of composing musicians who perform in the New York and New Jersey area. The band brings together sounds from a variety of styles to create original and interpretive music with ingredients drawn from the Chicago blues, British psychedelic rock and the classics. Band members are Peter VanEmburg, senior software engineer at Lockheed Martin, on drums; Meg Radford, sophomore pre-veterinary student at Rutgers, on guitar and vocals; Gary Radford, professor of communication studies at Fairleigh Dickinson University, on guitar; Marie Radford, associate professor of library and information science at Rutgers, on keyboards; and Nick Romanenko, staff photographer at Rutgers, on bass.

"It is an honor and a privilege for us to participate in this year's event," VanEmburg said. "The ability to transform a horrific tragedy into a celebration of life is one of the yardsticks of a truly progressive and civilized culture, and we are truly grateful to have the opportunity to contribute to that transformation process. Of course, we also relish the opportunity to perform and to rock the house."

The concert is free, and light refreshments will be served. For more information, call the Temple B'nai Shalom office at 732-251-4300.

This page last updated June 27, 2013 by Gary Radford.
Many thanks to Kurt Wagner, Marie Radford, and Jon Oliver.