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Annual interfaith music tribute at Tabernacle

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah —

A choir of 350

children from several different faiths, including some

performing in American Sign Language, sang together. The

event also featured reading from holy books, dancing,

bagpipes and recitations and was hosted by The Church of

Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Elder Kent F. Richards of

the Seventy welcomed all those in attendance. Local news

anchor Carole Mikita of KSL Television emceed the program. Temple Square is

historically the place of gathering here in downtown Salt

Lake, Elder Richards said. It is wonderful to welcome all

of these groups to this beautiful place: to this building

that is so conducive for musical depth and expression.

Lt. Governor Greg

Bell read the Governors Interfaith Week Proclamation

declaring 1421 February as Interfaith Week: Many Faiths,

One Family, Building a World of Harmony. He stated that as

people of faith, it is our responsibility to uphold and live

the virtue which we all espouse so that there may be peace.

The Most Reverend

John C. Wester, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake

City, also spoke. He was followed by the Salt Lake Scots

Bagpipe Band performing Highland Cathedral and Amazing

Grace. Members of the Sikh faith and Gnostics were part of

the performance for the first time this year.

Interfaith is

not about losing faith; its about strengthening your own

faith, said Alan Bachman, music chair for the performance

and Jewish representative to the roundtable. He compared

different faiths to different notes and explained that only

when your own note is strong can you harmonize with another

note and make beautiful music. Thats what will make the

world work.

The Interfaith

Roundtable is not only dedicated to celebrating different

faiths, but also different cultures. The Young Artists of

China — Inner Mongolian Musicians opened the program with

Chinese traditional music. Later, the Inner Mongolian

Dancers performed, each balancing five rice bowls on their

heads as they danced across the stage. Chinese culture was

also celebrated through the CCTV Galaxy Childrens Choir

from Beijing, who sang Flowers of Friendship and Beijing

Welcomes You. These children also performed the latter

piece at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Other

performances included songs from the Gnostic, Jewish and

Bahai faiths, a Buddhist recitation, Sikh temple chant,

reading from the Quran, Hindu and Buddhist dancers, and a

few numbers the audience was invited to stand and sing with

the childrens choir. The performance concluded with a Greek

Orthodox prayer.

It takes a year

of preparation. We will start next week for 2011, Elaine

Emmi, a Quaker and past chair of the Interfaith Roundtable,

explained. All organizers and participants for the

roundtable and its events are volunteers.

It has been

awesome to step back and see the community step forward,

said Jan Saeed of the Bahai faith and the original chair of

the roundtable. She also said it is the spirit of

volunteerism that is so important to bringing people

together and that is what helps make these efforts

successful.

The Salt Lake

Interfaith Roundtable was organized in conjunction with the

2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City in order to provide

religious support for athletes from all over the world. The

group chose to continue their work after the conclusion of

the Olympics to promote harmony and understanding.

Interfaith week has expanded, even lasting a bit longer than

a week, with events such as a food drive, a presentation at

the state capitol honoring Presidents Day: Faith of our

Founding Fathers and several other events to bring

understanding of different religions. The roundtable is

dedicated to celebrating religions and cultures and building

love, harmony and faith. Read original post on newsroom.lds.org.