Learning, Reaching Out and Making Connections through Music

This Saturday, February 9, at 7 p.m., the Music and Fine Arts program will offer a benefit concert to raise funds in support of the Sanctuary Choir’s 2020 tour to the Middle East – Israel and Jordan. Presented by the talented staff singers of the Sanctuary Choir, audience members will hear a feast of music by Debussy, Rorem, Rachmaninoff, Mozart, Strauss, Gershwin and more. Accompanying that feast of music is a feast of desserts from some of Philadelphia’s finest bakeries.

The real point of the evening is to underscore the excitement around the choir’s 2020 tour to the Middle East. This tour, the choir’s 10th, will focus on experiencing Christ’s journey firsthand – visiting Nazareth, Jerusalem, the Garden of Gethsemene, Bethlehem, and the Sea of Galilee – but also on the challenges facing this part of the world, particularly as they relate to children and refugees. To those ends, we will participate in a workshop with Palestinian children in Bethlehem and present a benefit concert for the Jerash refugee camp, the poorest of Jordan’s 10 refugee camps. Eighty-eight percent of the Palestinian refugees in that camp are not covered by any kind of health insurance.

Since 1989 the choir and “friends of the choir” have traveled to places as diverse as South Africa, Cuba and Brazil, along with communist Czechoslovakia, Northern Ireland during the “troubles,” and Russia during the chaotic rule of Boris Yeltsin. We have performed in glittering concert halls and splendid Baroque churches, but we were just as thrilled to perform in the slums of Brazil or the sprawling townships of South Africa. Some tours focused more on education. Our tours through the American South, and several years later, through Luther’s Germany, whetted that appetite and gave us a context for who we are in this particular time in history. This tour to the Middle East builds on a legacy of learning, reaching out and making connections with diverse people. Your support will help make this possible.

Tickets for Saturday’s festive event are available online. Limited tickets will also be available at the door. Desserts will be offered at 7 p.m. The concert begins at 8 p.m. in Congregational Hall. Click here to learn more about the choir tour.