The Holiday Season is here!
by Stephen Stubbs
This first week of December has us doing a series of Underground Concerts under the title Feliz Navidad (Dec. 2 on Whidbey Island, Dec. 3 at Bellevue’s Resonance at SOMA Towers, and Dec. 5 at Naked City Brewery) – giving us yet another opportunity to explore the wonderfully rich repertoire of the Spanish New World from the baroque and classical periods. This time we will bring the same concert to our Sanctuary in the City series on Wednesday Dec. 6. This proliferation of concerts is allowing us not only to reach a wider audience, but also gives us more performance opportunities to develop the PMW “house band” with Henry Lebedinsky, Tekla Cunningham, Maxine Eilander and various of our favorite singer colleagues – this time with Danielle Sampson. Philippa Kiraly has been the media commentator who immediately saw the potential for our Sanctuary series, publishing a preview, then attending the first concert and now writing another enthusiastic endorsement of the enterprise. We are very grateful for her support! There seems to be a growing awareness of the need for shelter from an increasingly disturbing political atmosphere, and of the power of fine music in beautiful spaces to provide a measure of solace both personal and communal. Also the fact that this series is a free, come-as-you-are, equal access initiative will undoubtedly lead us to encounter members of the community who we could not otherwise serve or meet.
We continue in the second week of December with a series of mainstage PMW concerts of Advent Cantatas called A Light in the Darkness in three different venues: Lynnwood’s Trinity Lutheran church, Mercer Island’s Emmanuel Episcopal Church and also the newly restored St. Mark’s Cathedral. Bach (and Telemann) created these cantatas for such sacred spaces, and something about church architecture not only enhances the acoustical enjoyment of the music, but lends itself to the kind of contemplation which these texts and music were designed to foster. The content of these cantatas has an enormous range, from celebration to admonition, from the vision of paradise beyond this mortal coil to the sense of guilt and isolation which can create a personal hell on earth. With a wonderful team of instrumentalists and singers we strive to give clarity to each of these messages in turn – and whether as performer or listener we are all lifted up by Bach’s sublime music.
Finally, as the year comes to an end, we are reminded with tremendous gratitude of the support we continue to receive from our audience and supporters. Only with your generous help can we continue to provide the Northwest with the kind of performances and performers which you have come to expect from us. You will soon receive a letter about our end-of-year campaign, and I hope you will feel moved to renew your support. Many thanks and hoping to see you soon!