The human yearning for peace is as old as the urge toward conflict. Maybe older.
Three thousand years ago the Psalmist wrote, “Peace be within your walls and prosperity within your palaces.” A millennium later Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” The twelfth-century St. Francis of Assisi prayed, “Make me an instrument of thy peace.” A century later the Persian poet Rumi wrote, “All religions, all this singing, one song: Peace be with you.”
These texts are among the paeans to peace set to music by Karl Jenkins in his 2011 oratorio The Peacemakers. Other peacemaking words come from the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, the anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Anne Frank, and others.
“While the music in this piece is moving and accessible, the key ingredient is the text,” says CRS artistic director Steve Zielke. “The words of Gandhi, of Martin Luther King, of Mother Theresa, of Rumi, of Anne Frank—it’s like an all-star cast of incredible authors and poets and thinkers who have thought and written and talked about peace through the ages.”
Come and hear the Corvallis Repertory Singers perform The Peacemakers on Saturday, Nov. 9 (7 p.m.) and Sunday, Nov. 10 (3 p.m.) at the First United Methodist Church in Corvallis. Order your tickets here.