New Musical Inspiration Comes to Morgan Park Presbyterian
Dhilanthi Fernando begins her tenure as Music Director at Morgan Park Presbyterian Church, 2017 W. 110th Pl., during Black History Month. She will lead the chancel choir and members of church in African American spirituals, as well as an African choral blessing — Bwana Awabariki (“May God Grant You a Blessing”) – which they will sing in Swahili and English.
The three spirituals that will be sung as choir anthems on Feb. 9, 16 and 23 are “Over My Head, I Hear Music in the Air,” “Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel” and “Wade in the Water.”
Born in Sri Lanka and a longtime resident of Chicago, Fernando completed graduate studies in musicology at the University of Chicago. A classically trained pianist who is also a choral director and educator, she recently retired from the Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts), where she was on the piano faculty for several years.
Fernando is the founder/director of Le Cantanti di Chicago, a women’s choir based in Hyde Park that explores the rich repertoire of both original and arranged songs for women, many of which are also by women composers. She looks forward to starting a satellite of the choir in the Oak Lawn/Evergreen Park/ Beverly/Morgan Park area.
Fernando hails from a family of church musicians. She expresses her faith best through music, which is evident in the many roles she has played as a church musician in four countries – Sri Lanka, India, Switzerland and the USA.
The Morgan Park Presbyterian Church Children’s Choir is a growing music ministry that rehearses for 20 minutes after worship on Sundays and sings once a month during Youth Sunday Worship. This focus on children in worship has empowered a new generation to learn about music, singing, teamwork and the Christian faith. The children’s choir director, Jamie Wasowski, also leads music classes at the Beverly Arts Center. Children ages 4 and over who are interested in getting involved can contact the church at firstname.lastname@example.org.