SPU Musicians Play Benaroya With
Songs of Christ’s Birth
FOR THE THIRD CHRISTMAS season in a row, Seattleites will
hear concert music rarely performed outside of churches today. The
concert in downtown’s Benaroya Hall will center not on reindeer or
nutcrackers, but on the birth of Jesus.
On December 1 at 4 p.m. in Benaroya’s main concert hall, Seattle Pacific
University presents “The Sacred Sounds of Christmas,” performed by
the Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, Männerchor, Women’s Choir and
Symphonic Wind Ensemble.
|Director of SPU’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble Gerry Marsh
(above) recently composed a cantata, “Song of Luke,” part
of which students will perform at Benaroya Hall (right) on December
Led by Assistant Professor of Music David Anderson and Instructor
of Music Gerry Marsh, “Sacred Sounds” is an annual concert of sacred
literature for choirs and instruments, centering on the spiritual
meaning of Christmas.
Anderson, director of choral activities, designs the music program
each year. “This concert makes an impact in the community,” he says,
“showing that SPU is Christian and academic, with a vision for high
artistic quality. We’re careful to program it so that it points to
what Christmas is: the incarnation of God.”
Marsh, who directs the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, suggested Benaroya
Hall as a venue for Seattle Pacific several years ago. “There are
people from the National Orchestra who say that Benaroya is better
than the Lincoln Center in terms of acoustics and setting,” says Marsh.
“And SPU’s musicians are great enough to perform in a setting of this
For their first concert at Benaroya in 2000, Seattle Pacific musicians
performed before a packed audience in the smaller hall. So many people
came, in fact, that dozens had to be turned away at the door. The
following year, SPU musicians graduated to the main hall, performing
their repertoire of classic Christmas music from around the world
to a near-capacity audience. The evening concluded with a standing
ovation from the 2,200 concert-goers.
This year’s program will include compositions that range from Early
Renaissance music to both familiar and rarely heard carols, which
the audience will be invited to sing. Anderson wrote the setting for
several of the pieces, such as the regal processional, “Come, Thou
Long-Expected Jesus.” SPU performers will play some intriguing instruments
during the concert, for instance a shofar made from a ram’s horn in
Tickets for the concert are $15, available through Ticketmaster at
206/628-0888 or www.ticketmaster.com.
— BY MARGARET D. SMITH
— PHOTO BY DANIEL SHEEHAN
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