Lucy Greenbaum to be featured Jewish performer at Arts & Faith St. Louis Interfaith Concert


Lucy Greenbaum

Jordan Palmer, Chief Digital Content Officer

For the first time since 2020, the magical sounds of the annual Arts & Faith St. Louis Interfaith Concert are returning to the Sheldon Concert Hall.

The free concert “Faith into Action” will take place Sunday, Sept. 18 at 4 p.m. at the Sheldon Concert Hall. It will feature soprano Christine Brewer performing two new music compositions, a visual arts display, the Interfaith Youth Chorus directed by Maria A. Ellis and musical performances by groups of many faiths.

The featured Jewish performer is Lucy Greenbaum, who is the director of youth engagement and musician-in-residence at Congregation Shaare Emeth. Greenbaum will be singing “Well Up Like Waters,” which she says has deep meaning for her.

“I chose this piece for a number of reasons, the first being that the text this song draws from is the same text that we have above our sanctuary ark at Congregation Shaare Emeth that holds our sacred Torah scrolls,” said Greenbaum

וְיִגַּ֥ל כַּמַּ֖יִם מִשְׁפָּ֑ט וּצְדָקָ֖ה כְּנַ֥חַל אֵיתָֽן׃

But let justice well up like water, righteousness like a mighty stream (Amos 5:24)

“To me, this text is a reminder every time I pray in our sanctuary that we must work until justice and righteousness are more prevalent in our country and our world than hatred and bigotry,” she added.

Written by another Jewish songwriter Jacob “Spike” Kraus during the summer protests following the 2020 death of George Floyd, Greenbaum says the song reminds her that prayer is only the start of the work for social justice.

“And that our prayer cannot simply stay within our congregational walls. This song also does a nice job of illustrating the many ways that we can work through the difficult things in our lives, that there is not just one way to achieve peace but many paths that lead us there individually,” said Greenbaum.

Arts & Faith St. Louis

In 2011, an interfaith group of community leaders, convened by Batya Abramson-Goldstein of the Michael and Barbara Newmark Institute for Human Relations of the Jewish Community Relations Council and Timothy O’Leary of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, prepared the St. Louis community for a production of the opera The Death of Klinghoffer by creating programs for building understanding and bridging divides.  These successful efforts inspired the creation, with the collaboration of Interfaith Partnership of Greater St. Louis and the Sheldon Concert Hall, of an Interfaith Concert marking the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

Headliner Brewer will be accompanied by pianist Alla Voskoboynikova, singing two songs–the spiritual “City Called Heaven,” and the world premiere of the commissioned work “The Light of the Divine” with music by Kim Portnoy and lyrics by Melissa Bishop and Kim Portnoy. The Interfaith Youth Chorus, directed by Maria A. Ellis, with pianist Nathan Coleman, will perform two songs: “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers, and the world premiere of the commissioned work “All We Believe” by Stuart Chapman Hill.

After the concert, the audience is invited to mingle on Washington Avenue and view a display of visual art inspired by the theme “Faith into Action.” Audience members are encouraged to meet the visual artists and music performers during the post-concert event.

In addition to Brewer and Greenbaum, the concert lineup features performances by Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Baha’i and Christian faith community choirs and ensembles. The concert begins with the singing of the National Anthem with emerging operatic soprano Angel Riley, a native of Belleville.

The free concert will be streamed live by HEC Media. It will be available to view after the concert on HEC Media’s You Tube channel and on the Arts & Faith St. Louis website.

Tickets can be reserved online as well.