AbbeyFest Blog: I loved seeing you perform at AbbeyFest last year. My daughters were so impressed that they pooled some of their allowance money to purchase your CD! Tell me what the experience was like for you.
Teresa Peterson: It was great! Definitely the biggest stage I had performed on at that point in my career, and I was so glad to be a part of such a positive, uplifting event. I love the focus on bringing family, faith, and music together in a Catholic environment. And I got to open for Sidewalk Prophets! That was so exciting!
AFB: Talk to me about the AbbeyFest Concert Series. What was the genesis for this project?
TP: I have been looking for a way to bring together Catholic musicians and the larger Catholic community to celebrate faith and music. When I spoke with the organizers of AbbeyFest last year it turned out that they had been considering the same kind of event to help spread the grace and experience of AbbeyFest through the entire year. It was definitely a Holy Spirit moment of inspiration, bringing us together at just the right time.
AFB: What is your vision for these evenings? What should people expect when they arrive?
TP: It’s titled A Night of Stories and Songs because I will be on stage along with Dana [Catherine] and Luke [Spehar] telling our personal stories of faith and then playing some of the music that we have created at various points on our journeys. It’s loosely modeled after what’s called a “Writers Round” in Nashville, an intimate setting where artists can share both their music and the inspiration behind the songs. Luke, Dana and I really complement each other in our musical styles, we have a natural rapport and I think that will really come through in our performances. I’m glad these evenings are happening during Lent and we can all be in church together doing what we are supposed to do.
AFB: What do you mean by that, “doing what we are supposed to do”?
TP: So I still call (now Saint) John Paul II “my Pope” because he was Pope during the formative years of my youth, and as an artist I really connected with him on a personal level. He was an artist, a poet, and he spoke to the Church constantly about taking the talents God has given each one of us and using them to reach the world for the Gospel. That notion, whatever seeds he planted some 20 years ago, is really coming to fruition now in the life of the Church. I have spoken to other Catholic artists and they sense it too, a real drive and sense of purpose for us to use our talents in music, in the arts, to reach out to the world.
This project is that kind of opportunity, a time for Dana, Luke and I to come together with the larger Catholic community during Lent – an especially powerful time in the Church year – and use our gifts to uplift and inspire those around us through our music.
That’s it, dear readers. Hope you can join us at one (or more!) of our Concert Series events!