I love gospel music. I’m not talking about the music of the Gospel as we Mormons know it (MoTab). That stuff is nice, but I’m talking Gospel music, that rousing, exuberant, joyful noise with big harmonies and passionate soloists. It may not be traditionally reverent in the same way we think of the word in the LDS context, but I find a particular spiritual power and beauty in that sound which I rarely find in much LDS cultural music.
You can bet I was thrilled when I recently got a brochure from the Cathedral of the Madeleine, where we’ve attended Christmas Carol Services several times in the past (we find the traditional Catholic music equally as beautiful and awe-inspiring in yet another way). The first event listed was a performance by the combined choirs of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in New Orleans and the Calvary Baptist Church Choir of Salt Lake City, hosted by the Cathedral (April 15—this Sunday—at 8:00pm).
The concert is free, but is being billed as a fundraiser for the New Orleans area Habitat for Humanity. A worthy cause indeed. If anybody is interested in getting a taste of a different cultural experience and helping the ongoing rebuilding in New Orleans, come join us! With a highly regarded local choir and a choir direct from the home of the genre, it should be a fantastic performance. My wife and I love to experience varied arts, and have made sure to be there. This is why we love living right in the heart of Salt Lake City. So many new cultural experiences, concerts, artistic events, festivals, etc so conveniently accessible, particularly in the upcoming summer months. A great many of these are very moderately priced—often free. I’ll highlight some of the best as they approach.
I consider these sorts of opportunities to be the hallmark of liberalism. Liberalism, after all, celebrates diversity and differences, inviting all to share new experiences and widen your perspective. Additionally, these sorts of cultural/artistic events were simply unavailable to us when my wife and I lived in the suburbs. The suburban sprawl championed by the free-marketeers and conservatives is barren of the cultural opportunities which enrich our communities and feed our souls. The ‘burbs are starved of real living. The potential for the growth and sharing of culture is yet another reason to abandon the sprawling settlement patterns that have been spreading like weeds here in the West, and to return to the more enriching, sustainable communities promoted in New Urbanism.