One of my favorite Christmas memories is Linus telling the Nativity story in the Peanuts Christmas Special. I think of a sitting in a warm house, surrounded by loved ones, imagining Mary and Joseph travelling through Bethlehem in search of shelter. We take for granted this particular aspect of one of our favorite stories -- in a time of difficulty Mary and Joseph needed shelter and support.
We often we sing songs celebrating the joys of Christmas without considering the other lessons it teaches. We often move through the season without considering those in search of shelter and support.
The needs of Christmas lead us to present "Songs of Shelter," a concert of both sacred and secular music that focuses on those without shelter. The concert is a benefit for Calvary Women's Services, which provides shelter to people in need.
The concert will feature Westmoreland's Festival Chorus and soloists. The music will include Gregorian and Byzantine chant; a set of art songs from favorites such as Mendelssohn and Schubert to more contemporary voices such as Norman Dello Joio and Michael Head; and a choral performance of Britten's Ceremony of Carols. Harpist Michelle Lundy, of the Beau Soir Ensemble will join us.
The concert is free and open to all. A free will offering will be taken to go to Calvary Women's Services, which offers housing, health, employment, and education programs that empower homeless women in Washington, DC to change their lives.
Join us at 7 PM, Saturday, December 10, at 1 Westmoreland Circle, Bethesda, MD 20816.
--Alec Davis, Music Director