The Bloomington Peace Choir is, most simply, a community of people who love to sing. They believe that music is a powerful force that can bring people together for peace.
Singing For Peace After Tragedy
Beth Sluys is the Administrative Director of the BPC. "It's totally non-denominational," she says, adding, "it's multi-generational, multi-cultural. We have people from all over the United States." Sluys goes on to explain the Peace Choir's mission. "It's basically to help foster peace and joy in the community and the world at large. It's just a really great thing."
The Choir was founded by Kat Domingo, former director of the International Vocal Ensemble at Indiana University. Kat passed away this March after an eight-year struggle with breast cancer. She had directed the Choir for just a year.
"She was an amazingly strong, vibrant, joyful person out in the world. It was in January of 2010 that her energy was back, she was feeling pretty good, and she was looking for something to dive into. I said to her, 'Well, what about starting a peace choir here in town?' And that just clicked for her. By April, we were starting to sing, other organizations in town were hearing about us, inviting us to sing. It was just a magical year."
Toward A New Direction
Since its founding in January 2010, the BPC has sung with the Community AIDS Action Group, the NAMES Project Foundation, the Center for Sustainable Living, and many other organizations. Their new director is Mary Goetze, Professor Emerita of Music at the Jacobs School, and Kat Domingo's former mentor.
Of the transition, Sluys says, "I think it's a good thing. I think people are willing to learn from Mary as much as Mary is willing to learn from us. It's just been a wonderful experience so far."