We serve audiences and communities of all faiths and cultures by providing opportunities to connect with each other through music.
The intentional use of the intrinsic power of music reaches across faiths and cultures.
The connecting power of music fosters mutual understanding and respect and builds community harmony.
Objectives of the Festival
- Bring sacred music and associated cultural tenets to Southwestern Michigan.
- Promote mutual understanding and respect among persons of different religious persuasions, accentuating community harmony.
- Encourage individual and group participation in program development and attendance throughout all segments of society.
In 1998, the congregation of the First Baptist Church voted to explore the desirability and feasibility of introducing a biennial festival of sacred music into the Kalamazoo area.
With financial support from the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation and the Kalamazoo Community Foundation, and with input from a committee of area religious and community leaders, the project got underway in 1999. In 2000, an area-wide representative group met to prepare for the festival’s introduction and decided to call it the Michigan Festival of Sacred Music.
A Board of Directors was formed in 2001 with the goal of making the festival a reality. The first Festival was an overwhelming success, and through 2015, the Festival was held every two years. In 2016, in response to requests from its audience, the Michigan Festival of Sacred Music became an annual event.
The annual fall Festival was rebranded as the Connecting Chords Music Festival in 2018, a name we believe more fully represents our program offerings and mission.
An independent 501(c)(3) organization, the Michigan Festival of Sacred Music is supported by numerous grants and individual contributions, showing the continuing strong support of the festival’s mission. It continues to be led by a Board and Advisory Council made up of community leaders and representatives of many different faiths.
The Michigan Festival of Sacred Music is a member of Chamber Music America, the Michigan Festivals & Events Association and the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo.
The Michigan Festival of Sacred Music has an Advisory Council, a Board of Directors and a Festival Director. The Advisory Council is made up of religious, educational and civic leaders of Kalamazoo County. Its primary function is to advise the Festival’s Board of Directors on the worth and soundness of the Festival’s program.
Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
On August 17, 2004, the Board of Directors reviewed, discussed, and unanimously voted to adopt the following EEO statement:
The Michigan Festival of Sacred Music follows an Equal Employment Opportunity Policy and employs personnel and provides programs and services without regard to gender (including pregnancy), gender identification, sexual orientation, race, color, ethnic or religious background, descent or nationality, disability (including past, present, or future physical, intellectual or psychiatric disability, learning disorders or disease), marital status, age, height and weight. This EEO policy applies to employment, internal promotions, training, opportunities for advancement, terminations, relationships with outside vendors and customers, use of contractors and consultants and in dealing with the general public.