Heavenly Lights of December Nights
Please join us in this star-studded musical journey, Heavenly Lights of December Nights, as we wonder and wander out under the stars, even taking a brief excursion to Norway to see the Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights!
Stars. . . From our earliest childhood memories, we wondered in song about these twinkling pinpoints of light, “up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky…” One of Robert Frost’s most metaphorically profound poems is an urgent plea to the star to explain itself and to reassure humankind that we are not alone in this universe! And, should we ever be so lucky as to “catch a falling star”, we’d better put it in our pocket and save it for a rainy day! One of our featured contemporary poets speaks eloquently to the interconnectivity of the entire cosmos: “From the calcium in our bones to cobalt in our mountains, all things are connected through a common solar origin. The stellar nursery in the night sky reminds us that all stars, all flowers, all mountains and all life are just threads in a cosmic tapestry – each thread is important in itself, but when woven together, the picture is not only more clear, but also more beautiful” (Kenley Kristofferson).
In our Christian tradition, a very particular Star in the East beckons us, through the pages of scripture, to follow it to the place where Christ was born. Among the myriad forms and sources of musical expression throughout the centuries, we have chosen to celebrate this star of wonder through: Appalachian carols; an excerpt from an oratorio by Mendelssohn; a spirited song by an Argentine composer known for his folk music and “iconic” compositions; a legendary film composer; a modern-era Spiritual; a beloved carol setting by the music director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir; AND, perhaps most notably here, two very fine selections from Jacksonville composers: Bob Moore, and our very own “stellar” accompanist/pianist extraordinaire, Ashley Wilkinson!
– Michael Dell