One America - Mosaic Harmony

Program: Mosaic Harmony, Fairfax, VA
Contact(s): Terry Thielen, Advisory Board President: (703) 591-9463
Purpose: To create a community of people dedicated to interfaith and interracial harmony and diversity through gospel music

Background Program Operations Outcomes


The Mosaic Harmony choir was formed in 1993 with the belief that the rich and inspiring tones of gospel music can serve as a way to bridge racial and ethic barriers. The music serves as link between different cultures. The mission of the group is to bring a message of unity and diversity to the community. Choir members come from all races, religious denominations, ethnicities and professions. The choir is unofficially sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax, and is self-supporting through its own fund-raising activities.

Program Operations

The Mosaic Harmony music ministry is a volunteer organization that is administered by an elected advisory board. The only requirement for membership is a commitment to diversity, community and equality. The choir rehearses twice a month, and it has an average of 20 performances a year. At each performance, the group projects its commitment to diversity. The goal of the group is to show that racial harmony is possible, and that people of diverse backgrounds can come together around shared interests.

Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments

The choir has grown from a few individuals to a community of 50 members. In 1997, the choir has sung at the Northern Virginia Folk Festival, the Vienna Folk Festival, 10 area churches, and four community events including the Tinner Hill Black Heritage Festival. Mosaic Harmony has recently been honored by the Fairfax County Human Rights Commission with a 1997 Human Rights Award. The award was given because of the groups commitment to promoting tolerance, cooperation and harmony among all people. The choir has also been featured on local television shows, and has been written about in The Washington Post. The choir receives invitations to travel out of the DC Metropolitan area, and it serves as a model choir for other communities.

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