The Rose Ensemble
On Thursday, January 26, I attended the Secrest Series presentation of the Rose
Ensemble concert. There were eight artists: 5 vocalists and 3 musicians. The concert featured
music “From the Land of Three Faiths: Voices of Ancient Mediterranean Jews, Christians and
Muslims.” (program). A great deal of the songs performed had originated from Morocco/Turkey,
and had a middle eastern flavor.
Each of the instruments was also traditional Jewish, Christian and Muslim instruments.
Some of the instruments that were played included: the harp, rebec, ‘ud, baroque guitar, psaltery,
hurdy-gurdy, and percussion instruments. Each of the instruments were made out of real animal
gut and traditional materials. As we arrived, the artists were tuning their instruments before the
show. And throughout the concert the musicians had to continue tuning the instruments due to
the instruments sensitivity to weather. In between musical selections each musician gave a short
history of their instruments and the materials used in the creation of each instrument.
Within the program, which founder/artistic director Jordan Sramek created; you could
find lyrics to each of the songs in the traditional language and then in English. Each song had
its own distinct sound and tone. The Muslim songs were distinct with their strong drum
sound and Turkish sound. The Jewish songs could be very reverent and sounded passionate.
And the Christian songs had a sense of hierarchy within them. The lyrics of each song were also
distinct for their religion. The Christian songs, like the Psalm 29-Psalm of David, praised God.
The song called for us to ” Havu lAdonai kavod vaoz (Give to Adonai honor and glory).”
(program). The song was similar to what I have heard before in my own Church and in worship.
One could see the influence that these songs have had on our worship songs and hymns of today.
The entire concert was a great experience. To be able to listen to music from three of the
most influential faiths in the world was important to Christian theology studies. Seeing the
different theological beliefs displayed within each musical text helped to give insight into
religion hundreds of years ago.
The Rose Ensemble