Westminster Choir College sheds light on social justice

By: Hannah Newman

The Westminster Choir hosted an event to shed light on social justice by bringing together those who wish to find peace within the world through singing. The event was held on Nov. 6 and was meant to bring people together through the power of song. 

“This is a social justice sing, a participatory event with leaders from our students and faculty. We had printed music provided for those that wanted to use it; everyone else could sing by ear. All of their music relates to the theme of social justice, justice for the earth and justice for all people. This is a way for people’s voices to join together and advocate for justice,” said Jason Vodika, chair and associate professor of the Westminster Choir.

Students and faculty introduced a variety of  music that pertained to social justice. Many cultures were shared through different uses of instruments and languages such as Cuban and Korean, illustrating the idea that people from everywhere can communicate through the language of music. 

Assistant professor Preston Wilson shared the most empowering part of the event in his eyes.

“Honestly we haven’t been able to just sing together in so long, so just being able to come together to make music is what I really enjoyed the most,” said Wilson.

Families and friends were able to join the Rider community in this event and discuss their feelings for justice by talking to their neighbors in the audience and coming up with lyrics to be sung by all, incorporating ideas from each side of the room. 

Senior music education major Becca Kirk shared her favorite part about being involved in such a lively event.

“It’s really cool,  because everybody in the audience loves music, and we’re getting exposed to different kinds of music that we don’t normally sing in choir, which was really nice,” said Kirk.

The social justice sing was just one of the many different events for homecoming weekend on campus, giving visitors the first-hand experience of what life is like in the Westminster Choir. Many parents and friends sat beside their loved ones and watched them take the stage, highlighting the significance of social justice.

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