February 17 – The Savage Breast

“Music has charms to heal the savage breast,” said the writer William Congreve in 1697, though it is often misquoted as savage beast. The misquote is silly, because no “beast” or animal has it in him or her to be as cruel as humans can. So my fellow humans, if your breast is savage with rage or hatred:

“Musick has Charms to sooth a savage Breast,
To soften Rocks, or bend a knotted Oak.
I’ve read, that things inanimate have mov’d,
And, as with living Souls, have been inform’d,
By Magick Numbers and persuasive Sound.
What then am I? Am I more senseless grown
Than Trees, or Flint? O force of constant Woe!
‘Tis not in Harmony to calm my Griefs.”

There is a Refuge Benefit Concert tonight at St. John’s Cathedral, and my husband and myself are going.

There’s No Place Like Home

I don’t know what denomination St. John’s is, and it doesn’t really matter. Props to them for acting like Christians. Here is their Facebook invite below:

You are invited to join us as we offer a benefit concert for the work of World Relief Spokane and for all of the refugees in our community and arriving in our community. This is a particularly important time to offer financial and emotional support for both refugees and those who work with refugees.

As funding for this work may become much more uncertain in the near future, donations will be accepted to support the work of World Relief Spokane.

In conjunction with this concert, St. John’s will also be holding a prayer vigil from Noon until Midnight on the 17th in the Cathedral.

Music will be shared by several choirs and refugees in our community. Performances will include:
• Iraqi and Syrian Drumming and Dance, led by Badawe Zain
• St. John’s Cathedral Choir (Timothy Westerhaus, conductor)
• La Patience (Pan-African band), led by Emmanuel Ruschongoka (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
• Chancel Choir of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church (Debbie Hansen, conductor)
• Nepalese dance
• Vocal soloists Thomas L. Bocchi and Amy Porter with pianist Mary Trotter
• Neema Swahili Choir, led by Jackson Lino (South Sudan)
• Gonzaga University Concert Choir (Timothy Westerhaus, conductor)

We’ll all sing an African American Spiritual, “Over my head, I hear music in the air,” and close with a text written with our refugee communities in mind by Minnesota composer, Michael Joncas, “A Place Called Home.”

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