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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of  Music
February 23, 2017
Canadian Excellence


Faculty of Music

Choral workshop and interfaith concert this weekend

Concert features internationally acclaimed artist/musician Dawud Wharnsby

Oct 11/12

Sing Fires for Justice, an annual choral benefit concert, will be held this Sunday evening, preceded by a choral workshop Saturday morning.

Now in its seventh year, the Sing Fires for Justice concert initiative, which has striven to widen the circle of justice in the immediate community and the world, will bring members of the three great Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) together to share individual voices and explore opportunities for common expressions of faith.

The concert, directed by Leonard Enns, Elvera Froese, Lee Willingham and Gerard Yun, features the Wilfrid Laurier Chapel Choir, Conrad Grebel Chapel Choir, Laurier Singers and an ecumenical community choir. Also featured are musicians from Waterloo’s Temple Shalom and artist, poet, musician Dawud Wharnsby.

Wharnsby is one of the most prominent spiritually and socially conscious writers of our time, with his writings of English language nasheed (spiritual hymns drawn from Qur’anic philosophy) among the first of their kind written and distributed professionally around the world. As a voice for the socially conscious and spiritually driven, Wharnsby’s poetry, songs, artworks and intimate live concerts have inspired a generation of educators, musicians, poets and artists.

The half-day choral workshop, conducted by Yun, will explore ideas for group improvisation culminating in an improvisation at Sunday’s concert. Both events will be held at Kitchener’s St. Matthews Lutheran Church, with Sunday’s concert beginning at 7:30 p.m. A freewill offering will be taken in lieu of an admission charge, with the proceeds going to Interfaith Grand River. This organization, comprised of persons of different faiths, spiritual traditions, cultures, races, colours and genders, strives to cultivate an environment of tolerance, understanding, respect, trust, mutual support and – ultimately – love. It seeks to develop and celebrate an awareness of people's interdependence.

The concert and workshop are hosted by the Waterloo Lutheran Seminary and the Laurier Centre for Music in the Community, and supported by the Royal Canadian College of Organists (Waterloo-Wellington Centre).

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