The Quad-City Interfaith Choir brings together women from five different Prescott congregations … in friendship as well as music
I was born and raised in a strong church community I loved. We met for Sunday services, there were programs for the kids during the week, and all the members had frequent opportunities to get together socially for dinners, service projects, plays, and musical performances. Right next door to our church was another church of a different faith. The two churches shared a property line and nothing else. I often wondered why none of us ever got to know each other or do anything together.
In 2012 my partner Patty Willis and I moved to Salt Lake City when she was called to be the minister of a Unitarian Universalist church there. Salt Lake had an Interfaith Roundtable that invited clergy and staff from all denominations to attend monthly luncheons and meetings. One night when I was on a Roundtable-sponsored bus tour of four houses of faith, I got a vision of what I could do to bring people of different faiths together: Invite singers from all faiths to form an interfaith choir. I reached out to a music director from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and we brought singers together to perform a concert on Temple Square in Salt Lake. The next year we joined with people of more than 20 faith traditions to sing at the 2015 Parliament of World Religions.
The dream of an Interfaith choir carried with me when we moved to Prescott four years ago when Patty was called to be the minister at Granite Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation. I called for an Interfaith choir and named it the Quad-City Interfaith Choir. We met once in March 2020 and then a week later we had to stop meeting due to COVID. My dream and desire didn’t fade, and last year I decided it was time to get a choir going again. I called the Prescott Latter-Day Saints music director, Juli Dalton, and we spent many hours talking about how we could gather singers from several congregations around Prescott. We partnered with Kellie Walker Hart, music director at Trinity Presbyterian Church and Rabbi Susan Schanerman from Temple B’rith Shalom and invited singers to join us for our first rehearsal last January.
For the music we chose a concert-length piece I composed with Patty Willis, lyricist. “Women of Courage” celebrates 11 extraordinary women. We programmed a September concert at Trinity Presbyterian Church, and it was so well received, we booked an encore concert the next month, and another in Sedona in November.
The response from the singers—who come from five Prescott congregations—has been wonderful. I love to see friendships forming that most likely would not have happened otherwise. Often, I hear and experience the divide in this country. I believe that one way to heal the rifts among us is to sing and become friends with people who have different beliefs. We are always open to singers joining us. If this choir sounds like a place for you, please let us know.
Contact us at [email protected].