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Speakers: Dr. Toni Tollerud, the Rev. Linda Slabon, Dr. Diane Johns, & Dr. Lynn Fisher McCanne

Prepared for by Pat Emery, Reporter, and Jone Johnson Lewis, editor.

Cymbal is the name of a quartet of four Unitarian Universalist women "in search of more music and meaning than they could enjoy alone." They have conducted church services, sung in concerts, created musical workshops, sung for women's retreats, and performed at the 2004 GA in Long Beach, CA. They accompany themselves on a variety of instruments, including piano, guitar, dulcimer, harmonica and drums. They say of themselves, "We sing to communicate, build hope, help heal, and empower. We are sisters, daughters, mothers, grandmas, and step-moms. We are lesbian, straight, and bisexual."

At this GA, they performed a sampling of their arrangements of songs under the themes of faith, restoration and justice. The section on songs of faith included "When Our Heart Is In a Holy Place, " from the new hymnal supplement (#1008), and "I'm a Unitarian," a humorous ditty with a gypsy flavor. A harmonious version of "We All Come From the Goddess/Isis Astarte Diana" and their arrangement of the traditional "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" were among the selections.

The section on restoration started with a humorous rewording set to the tune of "Holy, Holy, Holy," but with "Coffee! Chocolate! Coffee!" as the theme of the words. They sang a beautiful "Meditation on Breathing," from the hymnal supplement (#1009). Justice selections included the haunting song "Harbor Me" by the Unitarian Universalist member of Sweet Honey in the Rock, Ysaye Barnwell.

They gave a rousing version of the traditional spiritual, "I'll Fly Away," as their farewell song. The women clearly enjoy singing together, and are dedicated to creating meaning with their music. They may be contacted for bookings or to create a program for a variety of events, and their fees are negotiable. Rev. Linda Slabon's email address is revslabon [at] aol [dot] com.

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