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August, 2002


On June 30, three residents of Old Ottawa South (Fiona MacKinnon, Linda Uhryniuk, and Stephen Thirlwall) sang from the stage at Carnegie Hall in New York City. They were part of the 580-person Voices of Baha (VOB) Choir.

The VOB gave a  two-hour choral performance as part of a week-long Baha'i Festival for the Arts. Twenty-three others from the Ottawa-Outaouais region also undertook the journey to either join with the choir or its accompanying orchestra. Choir members came from over 24 different countries and represented people of many sizes, shapes, colours, and ages. Two locals also sang in the 175-person Gospel Choir that performed at Madison Square Gardens, and two more at a special Persian musical evening.

Several of those who attended the festival are also part of the Ottawa Regional Baha'i Choir that has sung at various events throughout the city over the last 10 years. In the past year, they have performed at the World Religion Day interfaith celebration at City Hall, a youth program on Parliament Hill, the Perley Hospital, and numerous activities
in the Ottawa Baha'i community.

The New York Festival commemorated a few significant Baha'i anniversaries: the 110th anniversary of the passing of the prophet Baha'u'llah (founder of the Baha'i Faith), the 90th anniversary of the visit of his son Abdu'l-Baha to North America; and the 10th anniversary of the International Baha'i World Congress in New York City.

The purpose of the festival was to promote the use of arts in community life. In one of his statements Baha'u'llah said that music is like a ladder for the soul.

The VOB concert began with an oratoria written for the original VOB Choir 10 years earlier for the Baha'i World Congress.

Printed in The Old Ottawa South August, 2002

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