Traverse City Record-Eagle

November 17, 2012

Choral concert with Muslim prayer won't be held Nov. 19

NMC cites scheduling, logistics issues

From staff reports

TRAVERSE CITY — Northwestern Michigan College on Friday afternoon issued a statement that it will not be holding a second performance Nov. 19 of the choral concert that became embroiled in controversy after the pastor at the host church barred a Muslim prayer that is part of the performance from being included.

In the wake of the church decision, the college had issued a statement backing out as an official supporter of the Mel Larimer Festival Choral Concert on Nov. 11 at First Congregational Church in Traverse City. At the same time, NMC announced that a special presentation of the concert that would include the prayer omitted Nov. 11 would be held in Milliken Auditorium Nov. 19. That concert is now shelved. NMC plans to revisit another possible date going forward.

Friday's statement from Andy Dolan, executive director of public relations and marketing, read:

Northwestern Michigan College has no current plans for a special presentation with regards to “The Armed Man: A Mass For Peace.”  The idea was discussed and voted on at Monday night rehearsals with both of the NMC choral groups that participated in the concert, Sunday, November 11. Consensus among both groups was that they would need more time to mount a production of that size and scope. Due to such scheduling and logistical issues NMC will revisit plans for a performance in the future.