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June 18, 2011

Ottawa singers join Chicago choral festival
Ottawa area choristers Ron and Juanita Perry, Ruth Willsher, Darlene Cameron, Erin Desson and Heather Harvey spent four days rehearsing and then singing before hundreds of people at the 2011 Bahá'í Choral Festival near Chicago. On May 29th, they gave two performances of sacred music at the renowned Bahá'í House of Worship in Wilmette, joining close to 230 other talented voices from several nations. At the second performance, the skies joined in as a major thunderstorm outside provided both visual and audio background for the sold out show.

The Bahá'í Choral Festival included rehearsals, workshops and performances. Every rehearsal began with prayers, often sung by small groups from the larger choir. Each piece was sung a cappella (without instruments) and included classical liturgical music of many religions, gospel music and other multicultural selections. After only four days of rehearsals, this large choir sang every piece on the program without sheet music in four-part harmony.

The setting for the Festival was the Bahá'í House of Worship (see photo), a gleaming white lace-like building surrounded by gardens, pools and Lake Michigan panoramas. This beautiful national landmark serves North America as one of seven Bahá'í Houses of Worship in the world.

All of the Ottawa area participants are members of the Bahá'í Faith and most are active members of the Ottawa Bahá'í Choir. Many are also involved in other choirs and musical activities in the Ottawa area. Every one of them agreed that it was a deeply moving experience from both a spiritual and musical stand point, and all would love to return next year.
Chicago Choir Photo

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