Jazz singer Thomasina Petrus says she drew on her connections in the music scene to assemble the program for her latest concert at Westminster Church.
“My show is about joy, so I was like, I'm just gonna find the things that bring joy, and maybe create a space where the music and the influences and the community that I love join me,” said Petrus. “I wanted to let people know that even though I'm a seasoned performer here, I get influenced and inspired by artists that are just so far removed from what I do in some ways, but also so connected to what I do in some ways.”
Thomasina will perform with the King’s Quartet and SingHers A Cappella Women’s Ensemble. She says joy is important to her, but she’s noticed it takes a back seat in day to day interactions.
“Thinking about joy - how often do people even talk about that? People say, well, how are you? What you been up to? But people don't really say when's the last time you had joy? Or saw joy? Witnessed joy? Gave joy? Saw somebody receive joy from you and your presence? I mean in this life, isn't that the goal?” she asked.
Thomasina says after looking more closely at what she thought she desired, she realized she found joy in things that were both simple and tangible.
“Joy for me doesn't have to be some big happening. Like I want, if anything, to encourage people to find joy in small things. And if you decide to let small things affect you in a joyous way, then there's much more of that available in the world.”
Thomasina says some concert-goers might resist attending a performance at such an imposing church. She encourages folks to allow themselves to follow their joy.
“It's another opportunity for community. I might think that oh, well, that's not for me. But to me, everything is for me. If it resonates with me, then it's for me. People might think that Westminster is not for them… It's this cacophonous big church that's sort of inaccessible, but they're really trying to open up their spaces,” she said. “I know that this is one of the ways that they do it.”
Thomasina Petrus performs with the Kings Quartet and SingHers A Cappella Women’s Ensemble at Westminster Presbytarian Church on Friday, September 23rd, at 7:30pm.