Building Community - A Community Music Project Connecting Newcomers and Established Residents

17 Jun 2020
3:03pm to 4:03pm
Breakout Session

At present we are witnessing rhetoric that is increasingly divisive towards the “other;” however, as an antidote to this discord the act of singing together provides an avenue to explore and nurture connections that unite. This is becoming ever more vital as we experience the isolation and fear that has seized the world as we experience our current global pandemic.

“Mosaic Music Collective” is a community-engaged choir project, founded by Palestinian-Jordanian artist Natalie Fasheh and conductor Dr. Charlene Pauls, that brings together recent immigrants with long-term residents of our local area (project is based in Toronto, Canada) to sing and share music of many cultures together. As we navigate through recent Covid 19 restrictions, “Mosaic” has sought to connect our community in new virtual ways. The “Mosaic” model includes community partnerships with a local youth choir (Oakville Choir for Children and Youth, with Dr. Sarah Morrison, Artistic Director) to co-develop mentorship programming that aims to create opportunities for youth to gain leadership skills in an intergenerational, multicultural environment. Building on the OC’s work in youth empowerment and positive education frameworks, we work to learn about different cultural perspectives through a musical lens, and strengthen relationships through the act of musical exploration.

Presenters Dr. Charlene Pauls, Natalie Fasheh, and Dr. Sarah Morrison will outline the model of this community project and partnership, including discussion about nuances and sensitivities that arise when building inclusive community-engaged choral projects for newcomers. We will invite participants to discuss the model as presented, and how it may apply to their own community choirs as they seek to build bridges among cultural and generational groups through singing.

Speakers / Performers: 


This event is supported in part by the Maryland State Arts Council (

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