Music and Spirituality

Event date: Friday, April 08, 2016, from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM
Location: Emmanuel College Chapel

You are invited to a Spring Gathering presented by the Emmanuel College Student Union to mark the first year of the Master of Pastoral Studies: Buddhism Program at Emmanuel College. Feel free to invite your colleagues, families and friends to join us!

The event will be an Inter-faith Exploration of MUSIC & SPIRITUALITY from the perspectives of Buddhism, Christianity and Hinduism. There will also be practical demonstrations by the speakers.

Date: Friday April 8, 2016

Venue: Emmanuel College Chapel, 3rd Floor, 75 Queen’s Park Crescent

Time: 7:00 pm, Reception and Refreshments at 6:30 pm

Free Admission. Please RSVP to 416-910-4858416-910-4858 or

Please download poster here:



Gauri Guha from the Hindu tradition. She will talk about “Spirituality in Indian classical music” and will also give some practical demonstrations.
Gauri is an established and highly acclaimed professional North Indian classical vocalist and recipient of many grants from the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute, the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council. For the last 38 years, Gauri has performed internationally in many prestigious conferences/concerts, conducted music and pranayama workshops, and had been interviewed in the TV, Radio and by the various newspapers and magazines in India, Canada, the USA, Europe, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Caribbean Islands. She has eight albums to her credit. Gauri received felicitations from the Federation of Bangladeshi Association of North America (FOBANA), the Association of Women of India in Canada (AWIC), and BAPS-Swaminarayan Temple Ladies Group for her contributions in the field of music in Canadian Society. In 2009, the Creations India awarded Gauri the Music Achievement Award.

Lydia Pedersen from the Christian tradition. The title of her presentation is “Born in Song“. Lydia will examine the Judeo-Christian connection between worship and music, and why Christian worship is next to unthinkable without music. What does music add to Christian liturgy? How has it changed through the ages, and where does it seem to be heading? And how have global music, multi-faith recognition and an increasingly secular society influenced what we sing in Canadian Christian churches today? As time allows, we will sing examples as illustrations.
Lydia has recently retired from a multiple-faceted career as school music specialist, piano teacher and church musician. Her last music ministry appointment, of 30 years, was at Royal York Road United Church, Toronto. A passionate member of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, and long an executive member of the Southern Ontario Chapter of the Hymn Society, she teaches courses in hymn writing, conducts music workshops and enjoys writing hymn texts. Some of her work is found in the hymnals Voices United and More Voices. Lydia is currently a D.Min. candidate at Emmanuel College; her thesis examines theological reflection elicited in participants in a hymn-text writing workshop she designed.

Henry Shiu from the Buddhist tradition. Henry’s talk will focus on the understanding of the Buddhists’ attitude towards music, to examine the reasons why on the one hand practitioners are expected to proscribe musical practice, and yet on the other hand music is used not only as offering to the Buddhas, but also employed as a means in spiritual cultivation. On the basis of this understanding, the talk will examine further what kind of music can be accepted as “Buddhist music”.

Henry is Adjunct Professor at Emmanuel College and Lecturer at New College, at the University of Toronto. His research has focused on the doctrinal and historical studies of Mahayana Buddhism in India, China, and Tibet. He also has publications on Buddhism in Canada, Chinese philosophy, and the Buddhist rituals such as the captive animal release practice. In addition to Buddhist studies, Henry also has a research interest in western classical music. He has recently published an in-depth study on J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations.

Ashley Poy, 
Co-Chair of Asian Heritage Month Education Roundtable, Canadian Foundation for Asian Culture (Central Ontario) Inc.

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