Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Interfaith Discovery Through Music

Here on the Palos Verdes Peninsula (and environs), we are fortunate to have the Dawn Unity Group, an interfaith organization that seeks to "find common ground for interfaith understanding at the local level." The participants are drawn from many congregations of faith in the region; Christian, Jewish, Islamic. This year has Dawn Unity has sponsored Interfaith Discover Series VII with a series of 4 interesting, provocative sessions.

Last night I attended the 3rd of this year's gatherings at the Rolling Hills United Methodist Church with the stated topic of "Easter and Passover Music." This is the 2nd year that music has been the focus of one of the Dawn Unity meetings and, like last year, the evening featured 3 choirs: 1) Rolling Hills United Methodist Church, directed by Charles Dickerson; 2) St. John Fisher Catholic Church, directed by Grant Hungerford; and 3) Congregation Ner Tamid, directed by Cantor Sam Radwine. I also had a personal reason for attending; Donna has been a member of the Ner Tamid choir since it was first formed by Cantor Radwine.

The voices were magnificent. As each choir took its turn, the director offered commentary and explanation which allowed us to put the music in a broader denominational context. And, the wonderful acoustics of the Rolling Hills Methodist sanctuary added to the quality of the aural experience. I tried to get some pictures but, as so often happens for me, the quality was very uneven. So I offer just one photograph; the three choirs jointly singing the evening's finale:

It was truly an uplifting evening!

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