Award-winning singer/songwriter Mary McBride will return to Episcopal on March 17th for the Quest for Peace Program’s Quest Fest after having served as the program’s first keynote speaker earlier this year. She will return with bandmates John Kengla, Jon Spurney, Greg Beshers and Mark Stepro for a live performance in the Lewis Memorial Chapel of the Good Shepherd. All members of the Episcopal community, including students, families, faculty and staff are invited to attend the event. Quest Fest will celebrate newcomers, country and cultures. Chaplain Charlie has worked with the Louisiana Organization of Refugees and Immigrants (LORI) and Catholic Charities to expand the scope of the event beyond the school. Special guests will include local musicians, dancers and performers.
In January, McBride spent time with Episcopal students and faculty discussing the Quest for Peace theme of finding a place in a displaced world. She shared stories with students of her travels to places like Baton Rouge’s O’Brien House and Detroit’s housing developments. Her travels have even taken her to Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Russia. Everywhere she goes McBride finds that people connect and relate through a shared love of music. This connection and joy is something McBride and her band celebrate and spread to international displaced populations through their Home Tour Program.
McBride began her professional music career at the age of five and went on her first tour at nine. Since then she has cut records, written lyrics and performed the rock and roll music she loves. She has toured the country performing in traditional settings - clubs, music venues and festivals. However, after realizing that there are audiences of people with no access to live music, she found her purpose and established the Home Tour Program to bring music to those populations.
McBride’s time on Episcopal’s campus was powerful and meaningful. She shared stories of the unexpected sense of optimism and belonging felt among children in an orphanage in Pakistan. She told students about the expressions on the faces of people who were never allowed to sing at home when they heard her band’s melodies and were free to express themselves for the first time. McBride spoke with Episcopal ethics students about how music helps people of different cultures and abilities connect and relate. She even led a songwriting workshop to help inspire students to create their own music. There was hope and responsibility in her message. Now she returns to share that with not only Episcopal, but also the greater south Louisiana community.
This first year of the Quest for Peace Program has been a tremendous success. Student lessons have been enhanced with resources, guest speakers and thought-provoking discussions. Join us as we celebrate this success and look forward to many more years to come.