Uplifting music, children’s testimonies of the Savior highlight 2021 Church Music Festival ‘Peace, Peace, Be Still’

Uplifting music testifying of the Savior and children sharing their testimonies of His love highlighted the 2021 Church Music Festival on Friday, Sept. 17. 

“I know that with Him all things are possible,” a child said in an interview during the broadcast. Another said, “I’m grateful for Jesus and all of the wonderful things that He’s done for us.”

The prerecorded, streamed event titled “Peace, Peace, Be Still” featured a variety of award-winning works from the 2019 and 2020 Church Music Submission — including arrangements for choir, instrumentalists and vocal soloists — performed by the Utah Valley Institute Singers and local musicians.  

Typically held in person on Temple Square, the Church Music Festival was held virtually due to COVID-19 precautions. The 90-minute concert, which was recorded in the Tabernacle, was broadcast on the ChurchofJesusChrist.org/broadcasts

A Primary child named Rachel, left, welcomes virtual viewers to the 2021 Church Music Festival that was broadcast on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021. Her sister Alice, right, gave the opening prayer.
A Primary child named Rachel, left, welcomes virtual viewers to the 2021 Church Music Festival that was broadcast on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021. Her sister Alice, right, gave the opening prayer. Credit: Screenshot from ChurchofJesusChrist.org

Hosted by a young Primary child named Rachel, the music festival opened with “Peace, Peace, Be Still,” text by Sally DeFord and music by Katherine Wright. Other songs performed included “Sweet Above All That Is Sweet,” “Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer,” “Joseph Smith’s First Prayer,” “Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted,” and “Abide With Me; ’Tis Eventide.” 

As part of the broadcast, several Primary children were interviewed about how they feel about Jesus, who Joseph Smith is, what prayer means to them and which Primary songs they like best.

“He makes me feel really happy,” a young girl said of the Savior. “One time I cried because I love Him so much.”

A young boy communicated in sign language: “He has taught us that we need to live in harmony. It doesn’t matter if we are Black or white, or if we’re deaf or if we can hear. We always need to live in harmony with each other.” 

“I’m just waiting to see Him,” added another boy. 

The Utah Valley Institute Singers perform during the 2021 Church Music Festival broadcast Sept. 17, 2021.
The Utah Valley Institute Singers perform during the 2021 Church Music Festival broadcast Sept. 17, 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The concert also featured some Christmas songs, including “Sing Noel!” and “Once in Royal David’s City.” 

The Utah Valley Institute Singers concluded the broadcast with “Gloria,” text and music by Suzanne Ostler Shippen. 

A recording of the festival will be archived on Gospel Media Library for on-demand viewing. Additionally, sheet music from this concert will be made available to download for free at ChurchofJesusChrist.org/music/library/submitted-music-2012-present.

Learn more about the Church Music Submission here