CEDAR CITY – Community members of all faiths gathered at Christ the King Catholic Church on July 3 to perform in and enjoy the Cedar Area Interfaith Alliance’s unique patriotic concert.
The Interfaith Alliance works to serve the community and bring people together across religious lines. According to its mission statement, its purpose is “to draw ourselves together in community through cooperation, service and love for the well-being of all.”
Involved in the alliance are Christ the King Catholic Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, St. Jude’s Episcopal Church, Parowan Methodist Church, Trinity Lutheran Church, Community Presbyterian Church, Westview Christian Center, Congregation Shir Bamidbar, and Sonrise Christian Fellowship.
The concert of song and narration on Wednesday told the story of America’s history, based on the book “Seven Miracles that Saved America” by Chris and Ted Stewart. Director Adrianne Tawa said last Christmas she was given a copy of the book, and upon looking at it she immediately knew it should be the theme of this year’s CAIFA patriotic concert.
Susan Allman, of the CAIFA board, wrote fictional letters based on fact to fit with each of the seven miracles in the book; those letters were read by Father Bob Bussen, Mindy B. Young, and Lee Montgomery before each musical number.
A screen was used to show artwork by Southern Utah University’s Artist in Residence Ben Sowards, which was used in the illustrated version of the “Seven Miracles” book.
Through the letters, songs and art, the story of America was told in a nontraditional way. Many audience members expressed appreciation to Tawa, Allman and others who made the concert possible and offered a fresh perspective on the Independence Day holiday.
The story began with the event of Columbus discovering the Americas, and featured the song “Tres Cantos Nativos Dos Indios Krao,” which Tawa said came from the natives in the West Indies, and was used to represent the people who were already in the Americas when Europeans arrived.
Other songs included “Praise to God,” sung by the choir and congregation together, “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “The God Who Gave Us Life,” “Bless This Land,” sung by the Festival City Chamber Singers (Tawa, Marlo and Wyett Ihler, and Mark Leavitt), “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” which featured trumpet player Austin Clark with the choir, and “Know My Heart.”
Tawa said the concert went even better than she had anticipated. It was followed by an ice cream social outside, under the pavilion, at the Catholic church.