Back to All Events

Put Your Guns Down, A Strong Call For Universal Peace Powered by Music

  • Manhattan Beach Community Church 303 South Peck Avenue Manhattan Beach, CA, 90266 United States (map)

A Strong Call For Universal Peace Powered by Music

Senseless loss of innocent lives through gun violence has become commonplace in America. Shootings do not play favorites, but target anyone, anywhere, with numbers harmed in the thousands and no end in sight. The ability to voice our concerns through transformative music, dialogue and greater knowledge of efforts to reduce gun violence unites and enlightens us, giving us hope. Underscoring this call to action and to promote our role as peacemakers, Manhattan Beach Community Church will host a thought-provoking interfaith event, in affiliation with Congregation Tikvat Jacob Beth Torah and Pacifica Institute, January 26th, 2019 at 7 pm, 303 South Peck Avenue in Manhattan Beach. The event features a live choral performance by Tonality, a diverse community choral group dedicated to promoting peace, unity, and social justice through choral music performance. A reception with Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders and artists will follow where an exchange of ideas and differing points of view will be welcomed.

According to Frank Hanzel, Cultural Arts Board Chair of Manhattan Beach Community Church, “Art reflects the culture of our time. ‘Put Your Guns Down’ gives voice to those whose lives have been unexpectedly and tragically cut short, and conveys the pain, suffering, and loss this violence inflicts on those left behind. This insightful musical program and community participation challenges us to open conversations to break through apathy or acceptance of constant tragedy.” He continues, “Within us all is the ability to make peace wherever we are.”

The Message of Peace Tonality Brings and Sings

TONALITY first performed “Put Your Guns Down”six days after the Las Vegas mass shooting in 2017, repeating the performance twice in the LA region. Pieces incorporating texts from different spiritual and religious traditions such as Shawn Kirchner’s Eye for an Eye are sung, a meditation on Gandhi’s quote, “An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind,” paired with words from the Gospel of Matthew. Composer Erik Banks studied the Qur’an to understand its messages and composed The Paths of Peace, one of 12 Qu-ranic Visions drawing on texts from the Qur'an. Highly emotional works include Joel Thompson’s Seven Last Words of the Unarmed, setting to music the words of seven unarmed black men killed by authority figures, primarily police officers.

TONALITY founder and artistic director Alexander Lloyd Blake explains that through the music of “Put Your Guns Down”, “We want to start a conversation. I don’t expect that everyone will have the same opinion, but I really think knowing about gun violence, supporting opinions against gun violence, and then finding a personal way to act toward that support for peace is the bridge that we’re trying to build.”

Changing the Battlefield into Common Ground for the Common Good

As Rabbi Hillel once asked, “If not now, when?” Believing the time is now, “Put Your Guns Down” offers an eye-opening evening for people to listen, think, ask questions, reflect on ways to lessen gun violence, strengthen our shared humanity, air opinions in a communal atmosphere, and as John Lennon sang, “...give peace a chance”.

For more information about “Put Your Guns Down” call (310) 372-3587 or email

Tickets: $20 (reserved seating)

Purchase tickets at:

Concert followed by reception with light refreshments and excellent conversation

ABOUT MANHATTAN BEACH COMMUNITY CHURCH Manhattan Beach Community Church is an inclusive Christian church that equips each generation, through spiritual growth and fellowship, to serve the South Bay. No matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here!

ABOUT CONGREGATION TIKVAT JACOB BETH TORAH We are a lifelong, egalitarian community comprised of visionary leaders who assist our families of all makeups and backgrounds in finding a sacred, safe place to connect to Judaism and to others. For our members, CTJ is not only a house of prayer, learning, and gathering but it is also an experience that transforms our souls and deepens our lives.

ABOUT PACIFICA INSTITUTE Pacifica Institute’s mission is to develop social capital—the creation and extension of positive connections within and between disparate social networks to achieve mutual understanding and common commitments to enriching the social good in the Western US States. Pacifica Institute strives for social justice, interfaith cooperation, advocacy through positive change and connections, relationship-building and partnership for the common good, and respecting both religious and non religious identities through its wide range of activities

ABOUT TONALITY TONALITY is a choral group founded in 2016 by Alex Blake with the intention of connecting people with our shared humanity through song. Diverse in background, age, and professions, members from the Greater Los Angeles Area gather for several unique performances a year in a variety of venues to provide access to arts and culture to all people in all walks of life. Established with the idea that we are all one people, TONALITY performs a variety of pieces in various languages and musical styles in an effort to unify our community through social outreach and serve as a beacon of peace and understanding.

Earlier Event: January 19
Women's March - South Bay
Later Event: January 31
South Bay Cares General Meeting