Interfaith Musical Event on Temple Square Celebrates Diversity

Contributed By Sarah Jane Weaver, Church News editor

  • 27 March 2017

Members of Sri Pranav Mudra perform a dance in tribute to Goddess Durga during the 2017 Sacred Music Evening hosted by the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable in the Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Sunday, March 19, 2017.  Photo by Nicole Boliaux, Deseret News.

“The concert is a celebration of all faiths and humankind. It’s a way for us to celebrate our commonalities amidst the diversity of how and what we believe.” —Josie Stone, Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable chair

More than 2,000 people of various faiths attended an interfaith musical event that was held in the Tabernacle on Temple Square on Sunday, March 19.

This night of unity and celebration included musical performances, dances, and scriptural readings from 12 Utah faith traditions.

Prayers during the Sacred Music Evening were offered by local Jewish, Muslim and Sikh leaders. Carole Mikita of KSL Television conducted the program. Elder Michael H. Bourne, an Area Seventy, welcomed guests to the event on behalf of the Church. Calling the event “diverse, harmonious, and peaceful,” Elder Bourne said it was a “wonderful, unified gathering of many faiths represented throughout the valley.”

The Khmer Dance Troupe performs “Robaim Aspara” during the 2017 Sacred Music Evening hosted by the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable in the Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Sunday, March 19, 2017. Photo by Nicole Boliaux, Deseret News.

The Khmer Dance Troupe performs “Robaim Aspara” during the 2017 Sacred Music Evening hosted by the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable in the Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Sunday, March 19, 2017. Photo by Nicole Boliaux, Deseret News.

The Khmer Dance Troupe performs “Robaim Aspara” during the 2017 Sacred Music Evening hosted by the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable in the Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Sunday, March 19, 2017. Photo by Nicole Boliaux, Deseret News.

The Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable organized the event, which has been held annually for the past 15 years. The event began as a prayerful reflection for religious leaders and others preparing to welcome the world to Salt Lake City for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. “We were thrilled to welcome and support the interfaith council’s annual meeting and host it in the Tabernacle,” said Elder Bourne.

Imam Muhammad Shoayb Mehtar, a local Muslim leader from the Khadeeja Mosque, spoke about the need to stand up for religious liberty by protecting those who are the most vulnerable in society. He gave the example of three Utah women who stepped up to help a Muslim woman who was being harassed for wearing a hijab.

“The concert is a celebration of all faiths and humankind,” said Josie Stone, chair of the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable. “It’s a way for us to celebrate our commonalities amidst the diversity of how and what we believe.”

The Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable organization’s mission is to create a community “where people of diverse faiths, cultures, and belief systems enjoy mutual respect, understanding, appreciation, acceptance, harmony, and love.”

The Khmer Dance Troupe performs “Robaim Aspara” during the 2017 Sacred Music Evening hosted by the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable in the Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City March 19, 2017. Photo by Nicole Boliaux, Deseret News.

The Khmer Dance Troupe performs “Robaim Aspara” during the 2017 Sacred Music Evening hosted by the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable in the Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Sunday, March 19, 2017. Photo by Nicole Boliaux, Deseret News.

The Khmer Dance Troupe performs “Robaim Aspara” during the 2017 Sacred Music Evening hosted by the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable in the Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Sunday, March 19, 2017. Photo by Nicole Boliaux, Deseret News.

Members of Sri Pranav Mudra perform a dance in tribute to Goddess Durga during the 2017 Sacred Music Evening hosted by the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable in the Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Sunday, March 19, 2017. Photo by Nicole Boliaux, Deseret News.

Members of the Kanako Ford and Obi Festival Dancers perform traditional folk songs and dances during the 2017 Sacred Music Evening hosted by the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable in the Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Sunday, March 19, 2017. Photo by Nicole Boliaux, Deseret News.

Members of the Kanako Ford and Obi Festival Dancers perform traditional folk songs and dances during the 2017 Sacred Music Evening hosted by the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable in the Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Sunday, March 19, 2017. Photo by Nicole Boliaux, Deseret News.

Alan Scott Bachman, left, and shofar player Larry Green, right, open with the Jewish call to prayer during the 2017 Sacred Music Evening hosted by the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable in the Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Sunday, March 19, 2017. Photo by Nicole Boliaux, Deseret News.

Members of Pacifica Institute’s Youth Dervishes perform during the 2017 Sacred Music Evening hosted by the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable in the Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Sunday, March 19, 2017. Photo by Nicole Boliaux, Deseret News.

Members of the Bulbuli Bosnian Muslim Choir perform “Tala'a-L-Badr,” a traditional Islamic song performed in Arabic, Bosnian, and English during the 2017 Sacred Music Evening hosted by the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable in the Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Sunday, March 19, 2017. Photo by Nicole Boliaux, Deseret News.

Members of the Kanako Ford and Obi Festival Dancers perform traditional folk songs and dances during the 2017 Sacred Music Evening hosted by the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable in the Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Sunday, March 19, 2017. Photo by Nicole Boliaux, Deseret News.

Members of the Debra Bonner Unity Gospel Choir perform during the 2017 Sacred Music Evening hosted by the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable in the Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Sunday, March 19, 2017. Photo by Nicole Boliaux, Deseret News.

Members of the Debra Bonner Unity Gospel Choir perform during the 2017 Sacred Music Evening hosted by the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable in the Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Sunday, March 19, 2017. Photo by Nicole Boliaux, Deseret News.

Members of the Debra Bonner Unity Gospel Choir perform during the 2017 Sacred Music Evening hosted by the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable in the Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Sunday, March 19, 2017. Photo by Nicole Boliaux, Deseret News.

The Hill Top Gospel Choir performs during the 2017 Sacred Music Evening hosted by the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable in the Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Sunday, March 19, 2017. Photo by Nicole Boliaux, Deseret News.

Members of the Lux Singers, an elite religious choral ensemble, perform during the 2017 Sacred Music Evening hosted by the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable in the Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Sunday, March 19, 2017. Photo by Nicole Boliaux, Deseret News.

Members of the Lux Singers, an elite religious choral ensemble, perform during the 2017 Sacred Music Evening hosted by the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable in the Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Sunday, March 19, 2017. Photo by Nicole Boliaux, Deseret News.

Members of the Lux Singers, an elite religious choral ensemble, perform during the 2017 Sacred Music Evening hosted by the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable in the Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Sunday, March 19, 2017. Photo by Nicole Boliaux, Deseret News.