It was still a time of emotional recovery after the Sep. 11 attacks just before the Winter Olympics came to Salt Lake City in 2002.
Uneasiness clouded the spirit of anticipation and excitement for the event.
But there was one bright spot that pierced through the unrest: the first Interfaith Music Tribute at the Salt Lake Tabernacle.
“It’s a beautiful place; it’s a beautiful setting,” said Alan Bachman, outreach chair for the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable. “You get to see the positive side of all the different faiths and people getting along.”
Just before the Salt Lake Olympic games, Olympic team chaplains and religious leaders from all around the world gathered to promote global unity and to welcome the many countries coming to Utah. Leaders knew it would be a great idea for the event to continue on after the Olympics.
Twelve years later, the annual tribute continues to entertain thousands and will return to the Salt Lake Tabernacle on Feb. 23.
The program typically begins with prayer and a welcome by a Latter-day Saint representative. Songs, dances and prayers are performed and given by a variety of different faiths that include Celtics, Greek Orthodox, Protestants and Muslims.
“We really want college students to get involved, and it’s really easy for them to be,” Bachman said. He said that if students sign up for their email list on their website or attend the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable monthly lunches, they can get signed up to help out.
“There is a great deal of spirituality about it,” said David Sharp, the music chair for the Interfaith Music Tribute.
“I am always fascinated by not just the culture but also the religion with it,” Sharp said.
The Interfaith Music Tribute event is free of charge and starts at 6 p.m. For tickets or more information, visit the tribute page at lds.org.