In these days of deep divisions among various elements of our common lives, anything that can help build bridges is a good thing. Fortunately for Fellowship folks, the bridges music builds form one of the strongest programs in this community.

Katherine Price, our Music Director, is the accompanist for the Carolina Concert Choir. Many UUFH choir members participate in other community groups. This month, this column features two such members, and explores their involvement in the larger world of music.

Susan White and her husband, Bill, one of the basses, joined the Fellowship 15 years ago. Besides having been members of various community choirs, they also are American Red Cross First Responders, who are willing to pack their bags and head for the airport when people need assistance following natural disasters. In addition, Susan is a Tutor with the Blue Ridge Literacy Council, and was recently recognized as their Tutor of the Year. In December, Susan used her voice at the Flat Rock Playhouse, bringing holiday music to the larger community.

Near Susan in the soprano section of the choir, we find Marina Logan, who was born and raised in Hungary, and joined UUFH in March 2017. Marina joined Susan at the Playhouse, building another bridge with one of the centers of joy in our community. With Marina’s help, the congregation recently sang Szekely Aldas from Singing the Journey, based on the words of Transylvanian Unitarians.

This branch of Unitarianism dates back many centuries, providing the first recognition by a king of the right to religious tolerance. In 1568, King Sigismund, supported by his mother, Queen Elizabeth of Pomerania, granted the right to every Transylvanian to choose a religion, rather than forcing people to attend a state-supported faith community.

More than five hundred years later, Marina was impressed at how well the choir sang in Hungarian, thanks to Katherine Price’s leadership. For Marina, these were familiar sounds, connecting her with Unitarians in Transylvania. She is now on the Board of the Sister Cities organization, encouraging connections between western North Carolina and European communities who hope to strengthen these links.

Music helps us bridge any divisions we may have; both Susan and Marina are keystones in these bridges. May the peace and love they help create serve us all well. So may it be.

Namaste, the Music Mouse