Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Sacred sounds of Christmas

After spending a lovely Thanksgiving weekend celebrating with family and friends I had the opportunity to take my mother into Seattle to the Benaroya Hall to see The Sacred Sounds of Christmas, performed by the Seattle Pacific University orchestra and choirs on Sunday night.  My mom's 85th  birthday is coming up next week and I wanted to treat her to something special.  I had not ever been to Benaroya before so it was a special treat for me as well.

The 10 year old building is beautiful, with rounded walls filled with multiple stories of glass windows that allowed for a view of the city lights beyond.

On each end of the gallery hung these gorgeous Chihuly glass Chandeliers.  There were a lot of people in the hall so I couldn't get very close but they were amazing.  Sculpted by Dale Chihuly, each chandelier weighs 3 tons and measure 12 feet wide by 15 feet long.  I wish I could have captured with my little phone camera just how beautiful they really were.

Inside the concert hall three walls were lined with rows of viewing boxes.  Behind the stage is a magnificent pipe organ.  The orchestra was just beginning to warm up as we came in.

We were fortunate to have 2nd tier seats right near the stage.  By the time the concert began every seat in the hall was taken.

The performance itself was wonderful.  The University has a symphony orchestra, a wind ensemble, a worship band, chamber singers and four different choirs. In between some of the selections the audience was invited to sing several of the great Christmas Hymns along with the choir. We heard readings from a Christmas poem called Noel written by J.R.R. Tolkien in 1936, a fanfare from a canticle by St. Francis of Assisi as well as a couple of other short symphonies.  I didn't recognize many of the choral selections,  It was such a joy to hear so many new and beautiful pieces of music along with old and treasured favorites.

It was a lot of fun being able to treat my mom to such a joyfully special birthday gift and it was a perfect beginning to the Advent and Christmas Season ahead.  May the Lord bless and keep you as you begin your Advent preparations as well.