Emulate Chamber Ensemble, from Eastern Mennonite University, will perform in Williamsburg, Newport News and Richmond March 5-6, 2017. Their performance of “Prayer” ties together the human faith experience in worship. (Photo by Andrew Strack)

Emulate ensemble brings ‘Prayer’ to Williamsburg, Newport News and Richmond

Emulate Chamber Ensemble, from Eastern Mennonite University, will perform in Williamsburg, Newport News and Richmond during their second annual spring break tour March 5-6, 2017. Emulate will present a program titled “Prayer.”

Program notes provide this description: “With love for all God’s people as modeled by Jesus Christ, and with respect for many expressions of faith and religion, the Emulate Chamber Ensemble delivers a candid and diverse music program. It includes early and contemporary repertoires that invite audiences and performers alike to consider the necessary intimacy and selflessness of Prayer by humbly paying attention to God.”:

“No matter what your religion or your faith background, prayer binds us all together in its divine presence,” said choral director Ryan Keebaugh, professor of music.

The group specializes in jazz, modern and contemporary concert literature, both secular and sacred.

Emulate will perform Sunday, March 5, at 10:45 at Williamsburg Mennonite Church in Williamsburg, and that evening at 7 p.m. at Warwick River Mennonite Church in Newport News.

On Monday, March 6, at 7 p.m., the group performs at First Mennonite Church of Richmond.

Keebaugh says he developed the theme about a year ago while thinking about “turbulence and troubles between people.”

“I asked each member to learn and memorize a prayer in a different language,” he said. “Because of EMU’s emphasis on cross-cultural study and because of their various backgrounds, these singers all have strong experiences living within other cultures. It wasn’t just an exercise. The students were enthused because they had such personal connections with the language and expression of faith.”

For example, members who traveled on cross-cultural semesters in Lithuania, or on a summer cross-cultural to the Navajo Nation, are each bringing prayers in those specific languages.

The program will be presented at EMU on April 11 at 7 p.m. in Martin Chapel.

Emulate’s members include:

Brooke Bevington, of Grottoes, Virginia;
Jon Bishop, Blooming Glen, Pennsylvania;
Clara Bush, Souderton, Pennsylvania;
Brandon Chupp, Canby, Oregon;
Abigail Greaser, Goshen, Indiana;
Joseph Harder, Bridgewater, Virginia;
Rachel Holderman, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania;
Michaela Mast, Broadway, Virginia;
Sylvia Mast, Broadway, Virginia;
Luke Mullet, Berlin, Ohio;
Lorren Oesch, Caldwell, Idaho;
Sarah Regan, Sugarcreek, Ohio;
Emma Roth, Goshen, Indiana;
Eli Wenger, Broadway, Virginia;
Leah Wenger, Broadway, Virginia;
Ben Zook, Canton, Ohio.

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