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Calvin Festival Includes Emmylou Harris

January 8, 2007

Emmylou Harris has joined a stellar line-up of singers and speakers at Calvin College's biennial Festival of Faith & Music.

Harris has produced 23 solo albums and numerous compilations and collaborations over the course of a career that is nearing 40 years and has included such genres as folk, country rock, country, bluegrass, rock, pop and alt-country.

She is joined as a Festival headliner by Sufjan Stevens, Neko Case and Anathallo, with keynote addresses by Lauren Winner and David Dark.

The 2007 festival is scheduled for March 30-31 on Calvin's Grand Rapids, Mich. campus.

Ken Heffner, director of student activities at Calvin, says the Festival is "dedicated to exploring the conversation between faith and the art of music."  Its goal, he says, is to create community among musicians, critics, theologians and listeners from a variety of backgrounds.

Stevens, a Michigan native whose creative sound and brilliant poetry is gaining him international recognition as an intriguing Christian artist will play on March 30.  Harris and Case will play March 31 and span the gap between classic and alt country. 
Winner is author of Mudhouse Sabbath and Real Sex: The Naked Truth about Chastity, while Dark is author of Everyday Apocalypse and The Gospel According to America.

The festival also will welcome Andrew Beaujon, author of Body Piercing Saved My Life, which is an outside journalist's perspective on the Christian music scene and includes a chapter on the 2005 Festival of Faith and Music at Calvin.

In the theology track, married authors Brian Walsh and Sylvia Keesmaat (Colossians Remixed) will lead workshops and conduct worship on Saturday morning. Josh Jackson from Paste Magazine will bring an editor's perspective, while Heffner, Steve Austin and Jeff Rioux will lead a roundtable for student activities. Other presenters include critic Benjamin Squires, singer-songwriter Jan Krist and author Steve Stockman.

In a post-festival reflection after the 2005 gathering, Stockman wrote: "As I moved between seminar, concert, creative worship and conversation I found myself in a community whose lungs had been filled with a short sharp burst of oxygen that might just keep me spiritually alive for months to come. [Calvin College] has created something that is too precious to have been planned*. For 36 hours we shared something above us, underneath us and surrounding us and we basked in the sacred space."