The Rose Ensemble, a group specializing in early American and ancient music, will present its program “Land of Three Faiths” at 7:30 p.m. April 19 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Blacksburg.  The event is sponsored by the School of the Performing Arts, the Department of Religion and Culture, and the Residential College at West Ambler Johnston at Virginia Tech.  

The result of years of intensive research and training, “Land of Three Faiths” is at once sacred, secular, folk, and classical, embarking on a fascinating exploration of language, spirituality, and cultural exchange. Featuring instruments and musical ideas that blur the lines between Arabic and European, this entertaining and enlightening program is steeped in the rich history of the Abrahamic faiths, achieving a balance of edgy improvisation, exotic vocal styles, and ancient traditions.

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Highlighting the Hispano-Arabic Middle Ages as both an important and devastating chapter of Judaic, Christian, and Islamic history, laments of the Sephardic Jews mingle with Arab-Andalusian dances and Spanish court songs, while rhythmic cantigas, Hebrew cantillation, and Gregorian chant meet the mystical world of Sufi poetry.

Founded in 1996 by Artistic Director Jordan Sramek, The Rose Ensemble unearths and enlivens ancient music for modern audiences. Its repertoire spans more than 1,000 years and includes music in 25 languages. Now celebrating its 20th season, the ensemble is the recipient of the 2005 Chorus America Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence and first-prize winner in both sacred and secular music categories at the 2012 Tolosa Choral Contest in Spain. It has performed around the world.

A free lecture recital about the process of creating “Land of Three Faiths" will be at 2 p.m. April 19 in the Squires Recital Salon 


Tickets are $15 general, $12 senior, and $7 student and may be purchased online, at the ticket office on the first floor of Squires Student Center, or by calling 540-231-5615. Tickets will also be available at the door.

St. Mary's Catholic Church is at 1205 Old Mill Road, Blacksburg, Virginia.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Susan Sanders at 540-231-5200 or email during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

Written by Naphtali Fields of Kodiak, Alaska, a graduate student studying directing and public dialogue in the School of Performing Arts.

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