Interfaith Month concludes with 'joyful' Musical Tribute

Published: Saturday, Feb. 25 2012 5:00 a.m. MST

Hindu temple dancers participate in the Musical Tribute in 2010.

Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable

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A full month of interfaith activities will come to a joyful conclusion on Sunday, Feb. 26, when the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable presents its annual Musical Tribute in the Salt Lake LDS Tabernacle on Temple Square.

Tabernacle doors will open at 5 p.m. for the 6 p.m. performance. Free tickets are required for the performance, with a limit of eight tickets per person. Tickets may be obtained at www.lds.org, or by calling 801-570-0800 (locally) or toll-free 1-866-537-8457.

"This is an extraordinary event," said SLIR chair Alan Bachman. "It becomes sort of a mircocosm of the religious world, all packed into one event. It is educational, uplifting and entertaining, all at the same time."

But more than that, Bachman said, "it provides hope that the many faiths can live together in peace on our one planet. This event is Utah at its best."

Hosted by KSL's Carole Mikita and Mary Dickson of KUED, the Musical Tribute features dance, song, sacred text and prayer. Performers will include a Christian gospel choir, Hindu dance, Jewish music, readings from the Quran, an LDS children's choir, Little Taiko Buddhist Drums, the Presbyterian Bell Ringers, a Sikh blessing, dances from Togo, the Unitarian choir and more.

"There's really nothing quite like this," Bachman said. "It is truly a unique experience."

The first Interfaith Musical Tribute was held on the Sunday before the start of the 2002 Winter Olympics as a time of prayerful reflection before the Games began. It has been held every February since then, as a way of "trying to keep alive the legacy and spirit of global harmony and understanding inspired by the Olympics," Bachman said.

The concert is the culminating event of the month-long Interfaith Month, which has featured a wide variety of tours, activities, service projects and events featuring many elements of Utah's thriving faith community. According to Roundtable Executive Director Ivan Cendese, Interfaith Month was "a time to come together to promote love, harmony and understanding among all faith traditions."

Which is exactly what the Musical Tribute is all about.

"It is an amazing thing to see this come together every year," said Bachman, who is a renowned musician and a regular Tribute performer himself. "We never have a full rehearsal, but it always turns out beautifully. Everybody just comes and makes it work in a spirit of faith and cooperation."

Bachman also expressed appreciation to the LDS Church for "providing one of their most holy places for this event."

Seating for the Tribute is general admission, on a first-come, first-served basis. Admission is open to all ages. The length of the performance is approximately 90 minutes.

Email: jwalker@desnews.com

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