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Interfaith concert will sing praises of diversity

Citizen Staff Writer



If you’re sick of the partisan squabbling that has divided our country lately, maybe “Music for the Soul” can help. The fourth annual concert by Interfaith Community Services is held to observe customs and unite people from all walks of life.

“It’s a chance to set aside individual beliefs and all come together to enjoy the evening and celebrate the uniqueness of Tucson and the fabric of our community,” says Monnie Applegate, ICS director of development.

Twelve different groups totaling more than 100 performers from varying faiths and cultures can be seen next Thursday at the concert.

“It’s the same week as the (presidential) election, so we think ‘Music for the Soul’ is pretty fitting with what’s going on in our country,” Applegate says.

“It started as an anniversary celebration for our 20th anniversary,” adds Applegate, a longtime volunteer. “It was so popular we decided to keep it going.”

This marks the third year the two-hour concert will be at the Fox Theatre, which seats about 1,100. The event drew about 900 people last year, and this year “We want to fill the Fox,” Applegate says.

The concert showcases all local performers and volunteers. Some of the different religious groups participating include Christian liturgical dancers, an African Christian choir, a Buddhist chant group, a Taizé chant group and a Jewish Klezmer band, Klezmerkaba.

Other featured groups are the Southern Arizona Women’s Chorus, a men’s barbershop quartet, a handbell choir, mariachi soloist Jessica Rojas, and American Indian musicians Gabriel Ayala on the classical guitar and Vince Redhouse playing the flute.

The event culminates with all the performers onstage joining Tucson City Councilman Rodney Glassman, a countertenor/baritone to sing “If we Could Dream.”

“It summarizes the feeling of all of us working together for a better world,” Applegate said of the last song.

Last year the event made about $30,000, according to Applegate. That money helps ICS provide services to the community.

“The goal is to work together to serve others,” Applegate says. “We offer two-fold services for seniors and families in financial crisis.”

These services include mobile meals and transportation for seniors, a food bank, and short-term emergency funds for families.

The number of families in need of food boxes has jumped from a maximum of 30 per day to 50 to 60 because of the downturn in the economy, according to the director.

While the money raised by the event is important, that’s not Applegate’s main concern.

“It’s more than a fundraiser,” she says. “It’s truly a friend raiser.”


What: Fourth annual “Music for the Soul” Interfaith Community Services concert

When: 7 p.m. Nov. 6

Where: Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress St.

Price: $20 general admission $50 orchestra $60 loge (seating for 2)

Info: 297-2738 Ext. 209, icstucson.org


• Southern Arizona Women’s Chorus

• Annie Smith, Kirtan chant (traditional Indian music)

• Fountain of Life SonShine Ringers, handbell choir

• Leaders of Tomorrow, Muslim youth group singing Muslim folk songs

• Christ the King Episcopal, “Taizé” chant group

• Klezmerkaba, Jewish Klezmer band

• Jessica Rojas, mariachi soloist

• Mary and Lenny Redhouse, representing the Native American faith community with hoop dancing and vocals.

• Buddhist monks from Dhamma Thai Temple, chant

• Goshen Ministries, an African refugee group singing Christian songs in Swahili, Kirundi and English

• Rodney Glassman, member of the Tucson City Council and a countertenor/baritone

• Imam Farid Farooqi, Cantor Karla Ember and Jeffry A. Jahn, performing calls/expressions from three different faiths.

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