A San Diego-area high school choir program changed an upcoming concert lineup after a parent complained that one of the selections showed religious elements.
Mt. Carmel High School has asked the school’s choir director to remove an Islamic Chant from the Thursday evening concert program. The choir director told NBC 7 that the concerned parent does not have child in the Classical Choir Ensemble.
Earlier in the week, the high school principal and assistant principals talked with their choir group and let them share their opinions, according to one of the students in the choir ensemble. On Wednesday, the students were told to remove the Islamic Chant called “Zikr” and a Korean Chant because it couldn’t be directly translated.
Choir student Alyssa Marine said the songs were connected throughout the concert to show how America is diverse. “It kinda just sucks because they just like kinda hated just that one song and that one religion and I just thought that was kinda messed up,” Marine said.
Mt. Carmel High School told NBC 7 that administrators reviewed all of the songs scheduled to be performed in a choir performance and a decision was made to change portions of the performance. This decision was based on input from parents, students and teachers, school officials said.
Mt. Carmel High School’s principal says “no religious belief or nonbelief should be promoted by the district and its employees. Instead the district should utilize opportunities to foster understanding and mutual respect between students and parents concerning race, culture, economic background, and religious beliefs.
Update: See “High school choir concert will go on as planned, Islamic chant included: principal”, NBC 7, 7 November 2014