A Multifaith Gathering in Song
Alice Parker, a well-known American composer and choral director, has commented that, “Music is, for me, the most potent means of communicating that exists to unite people.” In that spirit, The Women’s Sacred Music Project and Rosemont College presented “Sharing our Voices,” on Sunday, October 26, 2014 in the Chapel on the Rosemont College campus in Rosemont, PA.
With the goal of bringing people together and making friends through sacred song, five area choral groups representing Jewish, Christian, Islamic faiths and Sufi traditions, gathered to share music from their own traditions. Each group performed and then taught one song to the chorus members and the gathered community, giving all participants the opportunity to enrich and expand their spiritual and musical horizons.
MIRAJ (Margot Stein, Rayzel Raphael, and Juliet Spitzer). MIRAJ is a Jewish feminist a cappella trio blending their names, visions, and voices to offer richly harmonic, original compositions performed with soul and spirit. MIRAJ offers music for rituals, offerings for Shabbat and holidays, and new interpretations of traditional liturgies.
The Rosemont College Chapel Choir, directed by Mary S. Callaghan. The R C Choir consists of a generous group of volunteers who enjoy singing and praising God through their voices. These are College students who manage to attend practices in the midst of busy days on campus.
The St. Mark’s Choir of Boys and Girls directed by Darryl Roland, with Erika Takacs, mezzo-soprano. The newly formed Boys and Girls Choir of Saint Mark’s Church builds on the English cathedral tradition of training young voices to provide liturgical leadership in song.
The Sufi Singers, directed by Jeanne Hockenberry. The Sufi Singers is an ad hoc group made of members of the Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship. Their repertoire is gathered almost exclusively from countless songs sung earlier by M. R. Bawa Muhayaddeen, a Sufi Saint and Qutb of the present era, who came to the United States in 1971 and founded this Fellowship for the guidance of all those who are on the path of Truth and Light regardless of race, color, religious affiliation, gender, caste, or ethnic background.
SheWho, directed by Karen Escovitz. SheWho is Philadelphia’s feminist women’s vocal ensemble dedicated to the beauty, power, and importance of women’s voices. They sing to celebrate their diverse experiences of Spirit, and to promote social change and justice.