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UNCC Cancels Day Of Remembrance Concert, Alters Plans

David Boraks
Plans for a UNCC Day of Remembrance concert have been canceled.

Because of concerns about the coronavirus, UNC Charlotte has canceled a concert planned for its Day of Remembrance on April 30, the one-year anniversary of a classroom shooting that killed two students at the school.

In an email sent to students, staff and faculty, Chancellor Philip Dubois wrote: "We are committed to finding meaningful ways to honor the lives lost and all those affected. However, we will need to do so in a way that supports social distancing practices and protects the health of all those involved."

Riley Howell, 21, and Reed Parlier, 19, were killed when a gunman opened fire in their classroom April 30, 2019. Four other students were injured in the gunfire.

UNCC had plans for a full day of remembrance activities April 30, including "United: A Remembrance Concert" at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center in uptown Charlotte. That event will not be rescheduled, Dubois said.

"I have shared this decision with the Howell and Parlier families, and they are fully understanding of it," he wrote.

Dubois wrote that the school still is examining whether it can create an on-campus remembrance event that "respects social distancing protocols, such as a streaming remembrance ceremony."

He said more information on such a ceremony will be shared later.

Proceeds from the concert, which was going to feature the Charlotte Symphony, were planned for the Remembrance Fund, which is used to support a Remembrance Commission that is working to plan a memorial for those killed, injured and affected by the shooting.

If tickets already have been purchased and someone does not wish for those proceeds to support the Remembrance Commmission, a refund can be requested by contacting Blumenthal Performing Arts at 704-372-1000 or tickets@blumenthalarts.org. Refunds must be requested by March 31.

Jodie Valade has been a Digital News and Engagement Editor for WFAE since 2019. Since moving to Charlotte in 2015, she has worked as a digital content producer for NASCAR.com and a freelance writer for publications ranging from Charlotte magazine to The Athletic to The Washington Post and New York Times. Before that, Jodie was an award-winning sports features and enterprise reporter at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio. She also worked at The Dallas Morning News covering the Dallas Mavericks — where she became Mark Cuban's lifelong email pen pal — and at The Kansas City Star. She has a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University and a Master of Education from John Carroll University. She is originally from Rochester Hills, Michigan.