Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of March 5, 2007
Australian singer calls on children to 'turn back to God'
- WCR photo by Bill Glen
Australian composer Michael Mangan was a hit with some 50 students (Kindergarten to Grade 3) during a Feb. 22 concert at St. Brendan School.
By BILL GLEN
WCR Staff Writer
Australian singer-songwriter Michael Mangan admits he could grow fond of Edmonton's cold weather. In fact, seeing snow enhances his perspective on nature.
Two years ago, the composer-liturgist from Brisbane swung through Western Canada, which included concerts and workshops in Edmonton schools.
This trip saw him perform a dozen school concerts Feb. 20-23 before heading to Calgary for performances there.
"Winter in Edmonton is charming," Mangan said prior to two concerts Feb. 22 at St. Brendan's School.
"We don't even have autumn. No leaf drop. It's green all year round."
He is being sincere. Mangan uses natural imagery in many of his songs to portray liturgical messages to children.
At St. Brendan's, Mangan sang songs that touched on Lent.
"I have a song called Turn Back to God and the chorus is about making a new start; changing our hearts; making a new plan. I use it as a catch cry," he said.
"On Ash Wednesday, I sang a song about ashes. It's a pretty tricky image for kids to pick up on.
"But I have a song which is around the image of a bush (forest) fire. The idea is that after a fire has been through, you're just left with a black and lifeless place.
"But six or eight weeks later and with a bit of rain, you get new growth coming out of that place. And that's the message of the song - that after the fire, you get new life.
"Just like after the ashes of Ash Wednesday, we should be growing with that same new life."
Mangan hopes to make Scripture accessible to children through music.
"I want it to be attractive to them - easy to sing and fun to participate. But theologically, the message has to be relevant," he said.