Connecting Chords Music Festival presented by the Michigan Festival of Sacred Music

The Connecting Chords Music Festival provides a new look and feel for the events of the Michigan Festival of Sacred Music in 2018.

The Michigan Festival of Sacred Music is returning in 2018 with a brand-new name for its concert presentations – the Connecting Chords Music Festival. The Festival events center around the common convictions and threads that draw our community together – the importance of cultural traditions, human dignity, and the increased understanding of various faith traditions. The festival is scheduled over two months, making an effort to avoid conflicts with other arts organizations while giving audiences time to reflect on the programs they attend.

In a series of both ticketed and free events from Oct. 5 through Nov. 25, 2018 (see full schedule below), the Connecting Chords Music Festival, presented by the Michigan Festival of Sacred Music (MFSM), offers an opportunity for concert-goers to experience music from many cultures, presented by both local and visiting artists, in addition to concerts that spark dialogue regarding the sacredness of freedom of expression, commemorate the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, ponder the stars, and more.

“The name ‘Connecting Chords’ describes our programming and philosophy for the MFSM, where we have always taken a broad view of the word ‘sacred’, presenting events that not only represent diverse faiths, but transcend faith traditions and bring the community together through events that highlight things considered sacred by most people: human dignity, the environment, cultural traditions, and freedom of expression,” says Elizabeth Start, Executive Director of the Michigan Festival of Sacred Music.

The Connecting Chords Music Festival will participate in both the October and November Art Hops, and will sponsor an Expressive Calligraphy exhibit of work by Timothy R. Botts, which will be at First Baptist Church throughout the festival. The Festival will also collaborate with over a dozen organizations, including the Kalamazoo Valley Museum, Kalamazoo Public Library, Kalamazoo Nature Center, Edison School, Kalamazoo College, First Baptist Church, First Congregational Church, Congregation of Moses, Unity Church, and Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. Connecting Chords artists will do outreach in schools and also present some pre-concert events for the general public.

The Connecting Chords Music Festival is the third festival presented by the Michigan Festival of Sacred Music since it began to present annual festivals in 2016. The Michigan Festival of Sacred Music began in 2001 as a three-day biennial festival, occurring only in odd-numbered years. It has grown in size and scope, and the decision to present an annual festival, spread over a longer period of time, came as a result of audience feedback.

Tickets

Tickets for the 2018 Connecting Chords Music Festival’s 11 ticketed events are now on sale and can be accessed via https://www.ccmusicfest.com/

About the Michigan Festival of Sacred Music

The Michigan Festival of Sacred Music, a nonprofit arts organization supported by individual donations and numerous grants, is committed to broadening the understanding of diverse cultures and our own community through music. Support this year also comes from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Arts Midwest Touring Fund, the Music Performance Trust Fund, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

https://www.ccmusicfest.com/ for more information on each artist. Images and logos can be found at https://ccmusicfest.com/press/
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($ = ticketed):

October 5, Friday, 5-8 pm, First Baptist Church (315 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo): Art Hop event featuring Biblical calligraphy by Timothy R. Botts, which will be on display throughout the festival to help create a continuous thread from its beginning through our final event, the Annual Messiah Sing, on November 25. There will be live music at this Art Hop event, beginning at 6:00 pm, by Kalamazoo’s Bahar Ensemble and the group they mentor, Orchestra Rouh, which is made up of refugee and other international children. This is a free event.

October 7, Sunday 7:30 pm, Kalamazoo College Light Fine Arts Building Dalton Theatre (1200 Academy St., Kalamazoo): Chicago’s Fifth House Ensemble (5HE) with their program on “Degenerate Art”, which focuses on works banned by various regimes, highlighting the sacredness of freedom of expression. We will engage students and professors from across the curriculum, as well as the general public, to attend and discuss this topic both at the concert and in outreach events. This is a ticketed event. 5HE will also visit public schools. 5HE’s presence is made possible, in part, through the Arts Midwest Touring Fund $

October 13, Saturday, 2 pm, Kalamazoo Public Library (315 S. Rose St., Kalamazoo): Local cellist/composer/poet Jordan Hamilton, of Last Gasp Collective, in a program on human connections, co-sponsored by the Library. This is a free event.

October 13, Saturday, 8 pm, Western Michigan University’s Dalton Recital Hall: the return of the very popular Syrian group DIO Trio, featuring singer Dima Orsho $

October 14, Sunday, 3 pm, Kalamazoo College Light Fine Arts Building Dalton Theatre (1200 Academy St., Kalamazoo): A program of Hindu Music and Dance, with performers drawn from the midwest: dancer Anupama Mangalvedhe; and brothers Akash and Tejas Gururaja, with Akhil Sai Avasarala, will perform music featuring violin, vocals, and percussion. $

October 21, Sunday, 3 pm, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church (1747 W. Milham Ave., Portage): HuDost, a very popular act at our festival a few years ago. They draw inspiration from many world faith traditions. $

October 25, Thursday, 7:30 pm, Edison School (924 Russell St., Kalamazoo): Tlen-Huicani, a Mexican folklore ensemble. They will also do an outreach event at the school. $

November 2, Friday, 5-8 pm, Kalamazoo Valley Museum (230 N. Rose St. Kalamazoo): CC Music Fest will participate in another Art Hop, in collaboration with the Planetarium. This event will feature the planetarium’s program “Sky Legends of the Three Fires” on Native American stories drawn from the heavens, and live presentation by Native American story teller Larry Pun Plamandon who helped create the planetarium show. He will be joined by area Native American musicians Southern Straight Singers.

November 8, Thursday, 7:30 pm, First Baptist Church (315 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo): The ever-popular Tapestry from Boston returns in a program commemorating the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, “Lessons of Darkness: Armistice Day 1918” $

November 9, Friday, noon, First Baptist Church (315 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo): The pianist touring with Tapestry, award-winning artist Arsentiy Kharitonov will perform a solo recital. $

November 9, Friday, 7:30 pm, First Baptist Church (315 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo): Tapestry presents a program inspired by the heavens, called “Starry Night”, which was originally created for an observatory. Tapestry will do in-school outreach while in town. $

November 10, Saturday, 10:30-noon, Unity Church (1204 Whites Rd., Kalamazoo): Sacred Waters Kirtan returns in a free participatory program.

November 11, Sunday, 7:00 pm, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church (1747 W. Milham Ave., Portage): Arab violin and oud virtuoso Simon Shaheen returns with his trio. $

November 17, Saturday, 10:30-noon, Kalamazoo Nature Center (7000 N. Westnedge Ave., Kalamazoo): Peace songs from Around the World presented by composer/performer Frances Kozlowski with friends (including Carolyn Koebel, Jeff Morton and Elizabeth Start) $

November 18, Sunday, 3:00 pm, First Baptist Church (315 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo): Celebrating the Letourneau organ’s 20th anniversary and recent renovation, this program will feature Kalamazoo artists including organist Karl Schrock, soprano Susan B. Anthony, and trumpeter Scott Thornburg, with with additional brass and other instruments. This event is made possible in part through a grant from the Music Performance Trust Fund.

November 18, Sunday, 7:00 pm, Congregation of Moses (2501 Stadium Dr., Kalamazoo): The Abraham Jam, featuring singer-songwriters David LaMotte, Billy Jonas, and Dawud Wharnsby on stage together sharing songs. $

November 25, Sunday, 4 pm, First Congregational Church (345 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo): The festival will end with the Annual Messiah Sing which features a full professional orchestra and four vocal soloists. Attendees are welcome to sing along with the choruses or just listen.

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Michigan Festival of Sacred Music
P.O. Box 50566
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