Promoting peace through music is certainly not new. Song has been part of the history of change in human society from earliest time. On Sunday afternoon, Oct. 3, Zion Lutheran Church and the Sisters of St. Francis, Clinton, will lead a new celebration of that history at “A Peace Concert,” to be held at the church, 439 Third Ave. S., Clinton, beginning at 3 pm. The concert is free and open to the public.
Six Clinton area church choirs will share the “stage” at Zion, performing songs on the topic of peace such as “Gaelic Blessing,” “Down by the Riverside,” “Come, Peace of God,” and the litany, “For the Healing of the Nations.” Then they will merge for a mass choir directed by Dr. Jon Hurty, director of choral activities and co-chair of the department of music at Augustana College, Rock island, Ill.
“It is a great honor for us that Dr. Hurty will lead this performance,” said the Rev. Jennifer Henry, pastor of Zion Lutheran. “He is highly regarded in the Quad Cities and throughout the region for his expertise and his gift of bringing forth the best in choral performances. We are pleased to be able to present this performance to the community and also to afford our local choirs the opportunity to sing with a master director.”
Church choirs are coming from St. Paul Lutheran, Prince of Peace Catholic, First Presbyterian, Zion Lutheran, and the bell choir from Second Reform Church of Fulton, Ill. Several other area churches will be sending individual singers to join the mass choir.
“Music has been part of the everyday life and struggle of people worldwide,” said Sister Janice Cebula, OSF, president of the Clinton Franciscans. “It is a form of power that knows no boundaries. It has motivated individuals and nations to work together for change, freedom, equality. Music and song are often the first signs of growing community support in response to repression. And it is nonviolent.”
The sponsors chose Oct. 3 for the concert because it is the eve of the internationally recognized celebration of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron of peace.
“Francis was not only a preacher, he was a poet,” noted Sr. Cebula. “Many of his ‘prayers’ were sung, even during his lifetime. He recognized the power of music, poetry and drama to teach and inspire and his message was always peace.”
For details, call Sisters of St. Francis, (563) 242-7611.