Eighth Annual Interfaith Concert
 "Great Music of Many Faiths"
September 16, 2018
The Sheldon Concert Hall 

 

THE PROGRAM


PRESENTATION OF THE COLORS

St. Louis Service Women's Post 404


“The Star Spangled Banner”

Miles Wadlington, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis


WELCOME

Imam Mufti Asif Umar, Daar-Ul-Islam


CONCERT PERFORMANCES

Ensembles from many faiths


CLOSING

Rev. Dieter Heinzl, Ladue Chapel Presbyterian Church


AFTER THE CONCERT

Outside The Sheldon, performers and audience members continue their interfaith journey together


Go to link to view a full video of the concert: https://youtu.be/550LZRxwo_E

Arts & Faith St. Louis: “Sacred Spaces”

A Video Project

Presenting Houses of Worship in the St. Louis area


This year’s Interfaith Concert continues its focus of helping to build a harmonious St Louis using the unique power of the arts. Today’s performances give voice to the sacred music of the presenting faith groups. The accompanying video allows the audience to “visit” the Sacred Spaces where this music serves to move and inspire the congregations, our area’s Houses of Worship.


We are fortunate to have as videographer, Caleb Wylde, Wylde Brothers Productions, whose deep commitment to the goals of this project is reflected in every minute of the video. Responding to the demanding logistical needs was Quintin Reed, our Event Production and Community Engagement Coordinator from the Sheldon Concert Hall and Art Galleries. It was a joy to work with both of these talented and dedicated professionals.


Special thanks to the Arts & Faith St. Louis Video Planning Committee

Laura Arnold, Lenny Frankel, Rev. Dieter Heinzl, Dr. Javier Orozco, Syed Wahaj.

And, thanks to Bill Schwartz for his much-appreciated input.


And to the following Houses of Worship

Bais Abraham Congregation

Basilica of St. Louis, King of France (The Old Cathedral)

Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis

Central Baptist Church

Congregation B’nai Amoona

Dar-Ul-Islam

Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple

Hindu Temple of St. Louis

Ladue Chapel Presbyterian Church

St. Louis Islamic Center “Nur”

St. Louis Missouri Temple (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

St. Pius V Catholic Church

Sikh Study Circle of St. Louis

United Hebrew Congregation


Batya Abramson-Goldstein | “Sacred Spaces” Producer, Chair, Arts & Faith St. Louis Community Engagement



"The Star Spangled Banner" 


sung by Miles Wadlington, Opera Theater of St. Louis


Presentation of The Colors 


by St. Louis Service Women's Post 404

Welcome from the Arts & Faith St. Louis Chair


Today we come together, to hear the Songs of Many Faiths. At a time of growing divides, we are together. At a time of increasing conflict, we are together, joined by our common humanity. Joined by our music conveying our sense of the sacred. As the poet Rumi has said:


“All religions, all this singing, one song—The sun’s light looks a little different on this wall than it does on that wall, and a lot different on this other one, but it is still one light.”


It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the Eighth Annual Interfaith Concert -- Great Music of Many Faiths.




Our history begins in 2011 when an interfaith group of community leaders, convened by the Michael and Barbara Newmark Institute for Human Relations at the Jewish Community Relations Council and by Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, responded to the St. Louis production of the opera The Death of Klinghofferby creating programming for building understanding and bridging divides. In September of that year, these successful efforts were the inspiration for the creation, with the collaboration of Interfaith Partnership and The Sheldon Concert Hall, of an interfaith concert marking the 10th anniversary of 9/11.


The interfaith commemoration in music has become an annual event. It is presented to capacity audiences each year and provides an opportunity for reflection, unity, and peace and the transformational power of a shared musical experience. The Interfaith Concert brings together the beautiful diversity of our community, which is found both on the stage and in the audience.  More than ever there is a need for building bridges within our St. Louis community. Our programming continues throughout the year through our Community Programming Initiatives. Please join us.


I thank each and every one of you for being here, for your support, for caring and for helping to build a harmonious St. Louis.


Carolyn W. Losos | Chair, Arts & Faith St. Louis


“All Religions. All this Singing. One Song. Peace Be With You.” –Rumi 





WELCOME


Imam Mufti Asif Umar, Daar-Ul-Islam



“Welcome the Stranger Here”


Music and lyrics by Paul Reuter

Christine Brewer, soprano; Joseph Welch, piano;

The Interfaith Youth Chorus, Maria A. Ellis, Director

Commissioned in 2016 by Arts & Faith St. Louis



“Welcoming the stranger is a theme common to many religions, often with the admonition to remember that we too, or our ancestors, were once strangers in a foreign land. The stranger can also be someone in our own community from a different religion, race or economic background. The lyrics were derived from prose and poetry by area high school students.”

                                                                         --Paul Reuter



Welcome the stranger here. Make this a place without fear.

Welcome the stranger. Reach out and a friend will appear.

We are a family, lending a hand. And together we will stand.

It’s not too late to learn how to give. Welcome the stranger here.

There’s time to learn a new way to live. Welcome the stranger here.


Too many times we know our voices are not heard.

Somebody’s telling us: Don’t say another word.

Too many people have been left so far behind.

Our faith is guiding us to love and to be kind.


Our buildings and our arch go soaring to the sky,

But dreams of many souls are left below to die.

We need to build our city, make it home for all.

It’s time to come together, bring down every wall.


For we have all been strangers in a foreign land,

So many questions, so much we don’t understand.

But now we truly know that no one is the “other.”

We know that everyone’s our sister and our brother.


Welcome the stranger here. Make this a place without fear.

Love all and God will be near. Welcome the stranger here.

Welcome the stranger here. Welcome the stranger here.






“He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”


Traditional American spiritual arranged by Margaret Bonds

Christine Brewer, Soprano; Joe Welch, pianist


“I’ve sung this spiritual since I was a child and it’s always been a favorite of mine.  And as we all celebrate our religious beliefs and traditions; this song reminds us that we are all God’s children.“ —Christine Brewer







He’s got the whole world in his hands,

He’s got the whole world in his hands,

He’s got the whole world in his hands,

He’s got the whole world in his hands.


He’s got the woods and the waters in his hands,

He’s got the woods and the waters in his hands,

He’s got the sun and the moon right in his hands,

He’s got the whole world in his hands.


He’s got the birds and the bees right in his hands,

He’s got the birds and the bees right in his hands,

He’s got the beasts of the field right in his hands,

He’s got the whole world in his hands.


He’s got you and me right in his hands,

He’s got you and me right in his hands,

He’s got everybody in his hands,

He’s got the whole world in his hands,

He’s got the whole world in his hands.



"Nirvana/Atma Shatakam”


by Sri Adi Sankara

The Hindu Temple of St. Louis

Vidya Anand, lead vocal; Maya Anand, keyboard; Ramesh Cherupalla, violin


“The great Adi Shankara (first Shankaracharya) of the eighth century summarized the entirety of Advaita Vedanta (non-dualistic philosophy) in six stanzas. When a young boy of eight, while wandering in the Himalayas, seeking to find his guru, he encountered a sage who asked him, ‘Who are you?’The boy answered with these stanzas, which are known as ‘Nirvana Shatakam’or ‘Atma Shatakam.’ ‘Nirvana’is complete equanimity, peace, tranquility, freedom and joy. ‘Atma’is the True Self. The sage the boy was talking to was Swami Govindapada Acharya, who was, indeed, the teacher he was looking for. These few verses can be of tremendous value to progress in contemplation practices that lead to Self-Realization.”


I am not the mind, the intellect, the ego or the memory, I am not the ears, the skin, the nose or the eyes, I am not space, not earth, not fire, water or wind, I am the form of consciousness and bliss,


I am not the breath, nor the five elements, I am not matter, nor the 5 sheaths of consciousness Nor am I the speech, the hands, or the feet, I am the form of consciousness and bliss,


There is no like or dislike in me, no greed or delusion, I know not pride or jealousy, I have no duty, no desire for wealth, lust or liberation, I am the form of consciousness and bliss,


No virtue or vice, no pleasure or pain, I need no mantras, no pilgrimage, no scriptures or rituals, I am not the experienced, nor the experience itself, I am the form of consciousness and bliss, I am the eternal Shiva...


I have no fear of death, no caste or creed, I have no father, no mother, for I was never born, I am not a relative, nor a friend, nor a teacher nor a student, I am the form of consciousness and bliss,


I am devoid of duality, my form is formlessness, I exist everywhere, pervading all senses, I am neither attached, neither free nor captive, I am the form of consciousness and bliss, I am the eternal Shiva...



“Avinu Malkeinu”


Traditional, arranged by Max Janowski

United Hebrew Congregation

Cantor Ronald D. Eichaker; David Cohen, classical guitar


“The participatory Jewish supplication ‘Avinu Malkeinu’derives its title, like many Jewish prayers, from the first two words.  Based on two biblical passages (Isaiah 63:16 and Isaiah 33:22), the Talmud (expansive code of Jewish Law) indicates that Rabbi Akiva, who died in the year 135, recited the first Avinu Malkeinu in order to end a drought.  The original two verses were expanded to five in 1515 and were codified in the first printed prayer book of Rabbi Amram Gaon in the Ninth Century.  Later arrangements have had verses expand and contract to address social, political and natural events of the time.  Today’s version has been widely used in the Conservative, Reconstructionist and Reform movements of Judaism. The Orthodox movement and some Conservative congregations have amended versions throughout their daily and   Holy Days prayer books.  Today, you will hear a classic 1950’s arrangement set by noted Jewish composer and conductor Max Janowsky.” 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                     --Cantor Ronald D. Eichaker


Our Father our King hear our voice.

Our Father our King, we have strayed and sinned before You.

Our Father our King have compassion on us and our families.

Our Father our King halt the onset of sickness, violence and hunger.

Our Father our King halt the reign of those who cause pain and terror.

Our Father our King enter our names in the Book of Life.

Our Father our King renew for us a year of goodness.





He Reigns”


Words and music by Peter Furler and Steve Taylor. Arranged by Mark Brymer

St. Pius V Church Choir

Ruth Ehresman, Director


“St. Pius V Church on South Grand is one of the most diverse parishes in the St. Louis Catholic Archdiocese. Our faith community is rooted in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America, with many recent immigrants and refugees.  This song, ‘He Reigns,’ celebrates the common song of praise shared around the world, and the reality that each of us, in our diversity, reflects God.”




It’s the song of the redeemed, rising from the African plain.

It’s the song of the forgiven, drowning out the Amazon rain.

The song of Asian believers filled with God’s holy fire.

It’s every tribe, every tongue, every nation: a love song born of a grateful choir.

It’s all God’s children singing, “Glory, glory, halleluiah! He reigns, he reigns!”

It’s all God’s children singing, “Glory, glory, halleluiah! He reigns, he reigns!”

Let it rise above the four winds, caught up in the heavenly sounds.

Let praises echo from the towers of cathedrals to the faithful gathered under ground.

Of all the songs sung from the dawn of creation, some were meant to persist.

Of all the bells rung from a thousand steeples. None rings truer than this.





"Hymn”


By Guru Gobind Singh Ji

The Sikh Study Circle of St. Louis


This hymn was written by Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the tenth Guru (teacher) of the Sikhs, during the troubled times of that era, as a call to stand up to all injustices and protect people from tyranny. Its reference to modern times and our lives today is to resist the falsehood and vice that exist within all of us. By the grace of God, falsehood and sin can disappear from our lives.”




O Vaheguru (God), grant me this boon that I may never falter in performing righteous deeds.

May I not fear when I fight my foes; with faith and fortitude, may I attain victory.

And may I be a teacher to my own mind; my longing is that I may ever utter Thy praises. 

When the end of my life comes near, may I die with limitless courage.

Whoever utters His Name, the Great and Eternal Lord, he shall be blessed and fulfilled!



“Ride On, King Jesus”


Harvest at Central Baptist Church-St. Louis

Kevin Doyle, piano; Mark Brooks, bass, Reverend James Jackson, drums, Marjorie Patton, Director


"’Ride on, King Jesus’ is an African American Spiritual.  This spiritual is jubilant song birthed in the era of American slavery, combining Christian belief with African culture.  ‘Ride on King Jesus, no man cannot hinder Thee,’ was a statement of hope for the slave.  Some renditions say, ‘cannot hinder me.’ Either statement proclaims God's power and righteousness over all, and that He will claim His children. Therefore, that which cannot be acquired here on earth -- freedom, equity, peace, happiness -- can be acquired in heaven: ‘When I get to heaven, gonna sing and shout. Ride on, King Jesus!'"                  --Marjorie Patton

Ride on, King Jesus

No man cannot hinder Thee

Ride on King Jesus, ride on

No man cannot hinder Thee

No man cannot hinder Thee


In that great gettin’ up morning

Fare de well, fare de well

In that great gettin’ up morning

Fare de well, fare de well


When I get to heaven, gonna wear a robe

No man cannot hinder me

Gonna see King Jesus sitting on the throne

No man cannot hinder me


Gonna walk all over those streets of gold

No man cannot hinder me

Going to a land where I’ll never grow old

When get to heaven gonna wear a robe


Gonna see King Jesus sitting on the throne

Gonna walk all over those streets of gold

Going to a land where I’ll never grow old

No man cannot hinder me

Ride on King Jesus!




“Verse of Avalokitesvara”Guan Yin

  Bodhisattva's Vows

Translated into Chinese by Amoghavajra (705 - 774, Tang Dynasty)

Fo Guang Shan St Louis Buddhist Center


“In Buddhism, Bodhisattva is the Sanskrit term for anyone who has generated Bodhicitta, a spontaneous wish and compassionate mind to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings. Bodhisattvas are a popular subject in Buddhist art. Translated fromSanskrit Avalokitasvara, Guanyinor Guan Yinis an East Asian bodhisattva associated with compassion and venerated by Mahayana Buddhists and followers of Chinese folk religions. The Chinese name Guanyin means ‘[The One Who] Perceives the Sounds of the World’".  


May I quickly realize all teachings;

May I soon attain the wisdom eye.

May I quickly liberate all living beings;

May I soon attain excellent skillful means.

May I quickly board the boat of prajna wisdom;

May I soon cross over the sea of suffering.

May I quickly attain morality, meditative concentration, and wisdom;

May I soon ascend the mountain of nirvana.

May I quickly realize emptiness as a refuge;

May I soon be equal to the Dharmakaya.


If I encounter a mountain of knives, the mountain of knives shall break.

If I encounter boiling current, the boiling current shall dry up.

If I encounter hell, hell shall vanish and dissipate.

If I encounter the hungry ghosts, the hungry ghosts shall become satiated.

If I encounter asuras, their hatred shall subside.

If I encounter animals, they shall attain great wisdom.



“Alleluia”


By Randall Thompson

Choir of Ladue Chapel Presbyterian Church

David Erwin, Director of Music Ministry


“Alleluia, written in 1940by American composer Randall Thompson, is one of the most popular and most performed choral works of the twentieth century.  The text is the single word alleluia repeated over and over, with an amen sung once at the end. Alleluiais the Latin form of hallelujah (in Hebrew: ‘Praise ye the Lord’) and is used frequently in spoken and sung elements of Christian worship.  Thompson’s setting is particularly beloved because of its restrained, almost mystical elegance of expression. Thompson explained that his quiet and contemplative interpretation of such a celebratory word was due to the fact that the war in Europe and the recent fall of France had dampened his spirits.  He wrote ‘here it is comparable to the Book of Job,’ where it is written,  the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.’” – David Erwin

“99 Names of God”


Imam Orhan Kaya

Bosnian Islamic Center of St. Louis


“The Asmāʾu llāhi lḥusnā are the names which are the attributes of God are all mentioned in Quran. Muslims have been reciting them for the last 14 centuries.” 









The All-Compassionate The All-Merciful The Absolute Ruler The Pure One

The Source of Peace The Inspirer of Faith The Guardian The Victorious

The Compeller The Greatest The Creator The Maker of Order

The Shaper of Beauty The Forgiving The Subduer The Giver of All

The Sustainer The Opener The Knower of All The Constrictor

The Reliever The Abaser The Exalter The Bestower of Honors

The Humiliator The Hearer of All The Seer of All The Judge

The Just The Subtle One The All-Aware The Forbearing

The Magnificent The Forgiver and Hider of Thoughts The Highest

The Rewarder of Thankfulness The Highest The Greatest The Preserver

The Nourisher The Accounter The Mighty The Generous

The Watchful One The Responder to Prayer The All-Comprehending

The Perfectly Wise The Loving One The Majestic One The Resurrector

The Witness The Truth The Trustee The Possessor of All Strength

The Forceful One The Governor The Praised One The Appraiser

The Originator The Restorer The Giver of Life The Taker of Life

The Ever Living One The Self-Existing One The Finder The Glorious

The One, The All Inclusive The Indivisible The One

The Satisfier of All Needs The All Powerful The Creator of All Power

The Expeditor The Delayer The First The Last The Manifest One

The Hidden One The Protecting Friend The Supreme One

The Doer of Good The Guide to Repentance The Avenger The Forgiver

The Clement The Owner of All The Lord of Majesty and Bounty

The Equitable One The Gatherer The Rich One The Enricher

The Preventer of Harm The Creator of the Harmful The Creator of Good

The Light The Guide The Originator The Everlasting One

The Inheritor of All The Righteous Teacher The Patient One


“High on the Mountain Top”


Lyrics by Joel H. Johnson, music by Ebenezer Beesley, arranged by Joseph Hoffman

Rising Generation St. Louis Youth Chorus, Michael Hurst, Director

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


“This hymn was written in 1854, a few years after the first Mormon pioneers arrived in the Valley of the Great Salt Lake, which they named Deseret. It is an invitation to believers from all over the world to gather there to build up a spiritual 'Zion,' i.e., a community of the pure in heart.”




High on the mountain top a banner is unfurled.

Ye nations now look up; it waves to all the world.

In Deseret's sweet, peaceful land, on Zion's mount behold it stand!

For God remembers still his promise made of old

That he on Zion's hill truth's standard would unfold!

Her light should there attract the gaze

Of all the world in latter days.

His house shall there be reared, his glory to display,

And people shall be heard in distant lands to say:

We'll now go up and serve the Lord,

Obey his truth and learn His word.

For there we shall be taught the law that will go forth,

With truth and wisdom fraught, to govern all the earth.

Forever there, his ways we'll tread,

and save ourselves with all our dead


“How Good”


Words and music by Michael Engelhardt

Interfaith Youth Chorus, Maria A. Ellis, Director; Joe Welch, piano


“The lyrics of the piece are a blend of various Biblical references to living in unity with one another. The title and chorus are derived from Psalm 133, which serves as the central theme of the piece. A spirit of celebration should exude from the choir, which serves as a beautiful example of ‘how good and pleasant it is’ when people from various backgrounds come together to for one unified body.”

                                                                    – Michael Engelhardt




How good and pleasant it is when we dwell together in unity.

How good and pleasant it is when we dwell together in unity.

How good and pleasant it is when we dwell together in unity.

How good and pleasant it is when we dwell together in unity.


All people, all around the world, all sisters and brothers.

We’re born to be in one family. Unique yet we’re unified, one body yet many.

Diversity; oh, let it be our identity!

How good and pleasant it is when we dwell together in unity.

How good and pleasant it is when we dwell together in unity.

It’s time we finally agree we need one another.

In bonds of peace we are free indeed. Nothing can take us from the love of the Father.

True unity; oh, let it be a reality!

“Love is Love”


Words and music by Adam Maness

Christine Brewer, soprano; Interfaith Youth Chorus; The 442s

Commissioned in 2017 by Arts & Faith St. Louis


"Love Is Love was written as a mantra. I wanted the text and the music to affirm the simple truth that choosing love, whether in proud moments or struggle, is an act that multiplies and spreads like wildfire throughout our entire existence. The soloist, choir, and ensemble support and lead each other throughout the piece, sharing the musical message of Love from beginning to end.” 

                                                                              -- Adam Maness




Nightfall is shadow tightly woven in grander scale.

Envy is shadow always yearning to compare.

Beauty is distant, somehow always out of reach.

But love is love

Love is love is love is love.


Winter is slow and lonely without sun.

Summer is anger and envious there is none.

Spring is envious.

Me and autumn are helpless to it all.

But love is love

Love is love is love is love.


God Bless America”


by Irving Berlin


God bless America,

Land that I love.

Stand beside her, and guide her

Through the night with a light from above.

From the mountains, to the prairies,

To the oceans, white with foam.

God bless America, my home sweet home

God bless America, my home sweet home.




CLOSING


Rev. Dieter Heinzl, Ladue Chapel Presbyterian Church

AFTER THE CONCERT


Outside in front of The Sheldon on Washington Blvd., performers and audience members continued their interfaith journey together.