“It’s a very painful situation that we find ourselves in, of looking at where we’ve been and perhaps making the wrong assumption that so much progress has been made, when we see ourselves retreating right back to some of the same behaviors,” said Sweet Honey in the Rock member Nitanju Bolade Casel.
“Carols and hymns are amazingly succinct theological statements,” says Eileen Guenther, professor of church history at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC. “There is more theology in a few words of poetry than you can possibly imagine. You can have a whole sermon in four lines.” More
“Jerusalem is a place historically if there is something different about us, let’s fight about it. That’s basically the vibe. And so we and the chorus are trying to create an alternate reality,” says conductor Micah Hendler. He founded the YMCA Jerusalem Youth Chorus, an ensemble of Israeli and Palestinian high school singers. More
“When a monk gives his life to God, he has to express that in a physical way, not just an intellectual way, and singing involves the whole body and the mind and the soul, and so it’s a wonderful way of keeping this relationship between God and the monk,” says Father Cassian, prior of the Benedictine monastic community in Norcia, Italy. More
“To me, the choir is really a microcosm of what a community ought to be. People are not worried about status within their social position or their family hierarchy. What they are worried about is all together singing D major,” says John Maclay, music director of the Choral Society at New York City’s Grace Church. More
“I’ve been singing the Messiah for a long time, so it’s very familiar music to me. We do our rehearsals, and we also then reflect ourselves individually about what the music means to us,” says Kenneth E. Chadwick, a member of the Fairlington United Methodist Church choir. “The singing is an important part of my experience of my faith.” More
“We encourage people to have conversations,” says Reverend Rosa Lee Harden, producer of the Wild Goose Festival. She finds that sometimes people “who weren’t raised in Christian families, who follow other faiths more deeply understand the message of Jesus than sometimes we do.” More
The elite St. Olaf Choir is considered a pioneer in America’s a capella choral tradition, and for more than 100 years St. Olaf College, a small Lutheran college in Northfield, Minnesota, has held a Christmas musical festival that is known and loved around the world. More