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Autumn 2002 | Volume 25, Number 4 | Campus
SPU Musicians Play Benaroya With Songs of Christ’s Birth

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.

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 1.
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.

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 caliber.”

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 Israel.

Tickets for the concert are $15, available through Ticketmaster at 206/628-0888 or


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