Interfaith Musical Tribute

Tonight I attended a music tribute hosted by the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable. The event was in the Salt Lake Tabernacle in Temple Square. This alone was exciting for me because even though I’ve probably passed the Tabernacle a thousand times since I’ve moved to Salt Lake, but I’d actually never been in it. It’s beautiful inside and the sound quality is incredible. Sadly it conflicted with watching the Academy Awards, but luckily the Internet will catch me up on all the hollywood drama tomorrow.

Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square

The inside of the Salt Lake Tabernacle

The tribute was hosted by the Interfaith Roundtable. The Roundtable was founded ten years ago when the Olympics were in the Salt Lake. After the Olympics they decided to stay together and have continued to grow. They do all sorts of events. Just the other week I went to a lecture on Judaism that was a part of an interfaith series they’re doing at Westminster college.

The performance I saw tonight started out with a flute solo  by a Northern Ute. Another Northern Ute said an opening prayer. It turns out the land the tabernacle is built on Ute hunting and ceremonial grounds so he also welcomed us to the land.

All the performances were really interesting to watch. There was a Buddhist drum group based on Buddhism practiced in Japan.

Buddhist Taiko Group

The Ogden Buddhist Taiko Group doing an Ashura and Hachi Jo Island Tribute. It was amazing how precise and coordinated their performance was. Some of the kids behind them had fun trying to imitate their sweeping drum stick paying movements.

There was also a really fun drum performance by a group of refugees from Burundi. They started the number by carrying the drums on their heads while they played and marched on stage. They also had one member who did lots of handstands and flips while they played (Everyone clapped after one of the performers was able to walk off the stage and down the stage stairs (!) while staying in handstand mode). Then they set the drums down and took turns playing and doing different dances. Another group that did more dancing was the Hindu group. They had some of the best costumes too ( I wish I’d gotten a good picture of that group).

There were a lot of choirs and ensembles. A Unitarian choir sang a song their director wrote about liberty and justice. A Jewish group also performed an original song that they wrote. The LDS Church was represented by a children’s choir that sang a medley of Primary songs. A group of Protestant reformed Christian churches that had a bell choir; they called themselves the Reformation Ringers. They performed Fantasy on Kingsfold (Mormons know this as the tune to “If You could Hie to Kolob.”). An earth based, instrumental group called Idlewild performed a song honoring our connection with nature. They were the only group that used a harp, and I loved the addition of the harp sound.

Not everything was musical in the traditional sense. The Vice President of the Islamic Society did a reading from the Quran in Arabic and English. It had a really poetic, lyrical tone to it. Priests from the Sikh temple also did a Sikh blessing in Punjabi and English.The people representing the Sikh temple also did a dance that involved spreading flower pedals

The night ended with the song “Let There be Peace on Earth.” The children’s choir sang it first then everyone in the congregation stood up and sang it together. All in all I had wonderful time. It was great to see all the different faiths in the community represented and gathered together. I love living in the city and being so close to events like these.

Currently: watching a cheesy dance movie :)

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