Does music have the ability to bring people together? Is music truly a univesal language? These are questions that the two men of Pursuit of Harmony have spent several years trying to answer these questions while traveling between the United States and the Middle East. Pursuit of Harmony is made up of a most unlikely pair, an American Jewish man, Michaels Ochs; and a Palestinian Muslim man, Alaa Alshaham.

Music in Action: Pursuit of Harmony

Does music have the ability to bring people together? Is music truly a univesal language? These are questions that the two men of Pursuit of Harmony have spent several years trying to answer these questions while traveling between the United States and the Middle East. Pursuit of Harmony is made up of a most unlikely pair, an American Jewish man, Michael Ochs; and a Palestinian Muslim man, Alaa Alshaham.

Michael Ochs is a versatile songwriter. His songs have been recorded by Josh Groban and have won Song of the Year awards from the Gospel Music Association and Nashville Songwriters Association. He spends a lot of time traveling across the world to write and record songs with pop stars and is also a breakthrough composer of Jewish/Hebrew worship music. Since 2001, he has been the Composer in Residence at Congregation Micah in Nashville, TN. You can hear his compositions Friday nights at any number of religious institutions.

Alaa Alshaham is a Palestinian songwriter and commentator. His music often reflects the concerns of the Palestinian people. Alshaham thinks that, “Music is not only a universal language; it  is a language for positive change.” He has since used this belief to form the Big Dream Initiative Children’s Choir in 2011. This choir currently has 400 members and sings together for Palestine and peace. In 2014 he was awarded the Children of the Earth Award for his work with this choir and youth in a conflict zone.

Together, these men travel across the world trying to illustrate how music can bring together those who seemingly have nothing in common. When they first met during Michael Ochs’ first trip to the Middle East, the two of them realized that Jews and Muslims really don’t know each other at all. They travel to conferences, schools and religious institutions across the country trying to change this status quo and prove that mediation through music is possible. You can see this amazing duo at Vanderbilt’s Divinity School on Saturday September 26, 2015 at 3p.m.

This is just one illustration of how powerful music can be. If you want to bring this power into your child’s life- make sure you head over to Music Star Studios website!

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