"I Dream a World of Harmony"
It’s a lovely dream indeed, in a time when it seems more and more things divide us as a people, as a society, as a human race. And yet, throughout history nothing holds more transcendent power than the universal language of music. It is in the spirit of harmony that Hollywood United Methodist Church holds it’s 11th Annual Hollywood Interfaith Choir Festival.
Once a year, the Hollywood Interfaith Choir festival bestows “a substantial gift to an organization in the Hollywood area… based on their service to the community and financial need.” Past recipients of the Festival event include Covenant House, Los Angeles, Strength for the Journey and the Art & Music Therapy Department of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. This year’s recipient will be the non-profit organization The Harmony Project.
Founded in 2001, The Harmony Project is the gift of music to the underprivileged children of Los Angeles. Under the musical direction of Abel Delgado (featured in People Magazine as one of the 50 Most Fascinating People of 2006) the organization's mission is “...to promote the healthy growth and development of children through the study, practice and performance of music…” The Harmony Project not only provided group and private lessons from trained teachers and musicians, it also provided instruments to the participants free of charge. The Harmony Project is not an endeavor designed to just crank out musicians. It is a program designed to instill self-confidence and to be a looking glass for at risk kids in L.A. to see the endless possibilities life has to offer beyond their low-income circumstances.
The Special Guest
Dr. Sheridan Ball has accepted the invitation to be the Festival’s guest conductor. Now in his 27th year as choral director at Cypress College, Dr. Ball expertise spans from a doctorate in Conducting from University of Southern California to a 2000 debut at Carnegie Hall. His talents have been sought after as close to home as Long Beach Symphony, and as far away as the Australian International Music Festival Orchestra in Sydney.
The Hollywood Interfaith Choir Festival features eight great choirs this year.
Hollywood Lutheran Church has made its home in Hollywood since 1921, Hollywood Lutheran is host to the Way of Life Korean Language Church, and a number of 12-step and community programs are included in our neighborhood outreach. Eldon Turner currently heads the music ministry.
Crescent Heights United Methodist Church has been serving its West Hollywood community from its home on Fairfax and Fountain since 1929. Church Director, film actress and author Laurie Franks serves as choir director.
Established in 2002, Harmonies Girls Choir is an independent choral arts organization comprised of all girls from ages 8 to 18. Under the musical director of Jose Antonio Espinal, the choir performs a variety of musical styles from classical to avant-garde, from Broadway to spirituals.
As a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church offers worship services, which include ASL – American Sign Language. Kenny Callaghan is the current music director.
With its philosophical roots in Hinduism, The Vendanta Society of Southern California (VSSC) was founded in 1930 in Los Angeles, California, USA. The Society is under the spiritual leadership of the Ramakrishna Order of India, and the musical leadership of Swami Atmavidyananda.
The Philippine Chamber Singers was “the first ever local Filipino chorale group that has made the distinction of making an ACDA debut on the National level.” Now it its third year, their Choir Master is Gelo Francisco.
Mount Hollywood Congregational Church is “the first integrated church in Los Angeles, and our membership represents a wide diversity of races, cultures, religious backgrounds, and sexual orientation.” Serving its community from Rodney and Prospect Streets since 1911, the current Music Director is Joseph Lawrence.
If you have ever driven north on Highland Avenue, you’ve seen the giant red ribbon that hangs on the side of Hollywood United Methodist Church. Richard Warne is Music Director and part of HUMC’s Worship and Music Ministry Action Team.
I, personally, am a sucker for a three-part harmony; so I’m in. Beside, spending just ten bucks to attend the Hollywood Interfaith Choir Festival in support of a worthy charity seems more like a sure fire great time than spending fourteen bucks on the crap shoot you face at the local multiplex. There is bound to be something for everyone, because all are welcome. And, wait for it, it’s something you can actually do as a family. Imagine that…
The 11th Annual Hollywood Interfaith Choir Festival begins at 3pm
Sunday, November 11, 2007 @
Hollywood United Methodist Church
6817 Franklin Avenue (at Highland)
Hollywood, CA 90028
Tickets: $10 – Adults / $7 – Students & Seniors