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2018 Knollwood Christmas Festival

 

(Originally scheduled for Sunday, December 9–
postponed because of inclement weather)

Sunday, December 16

“Arise, Shine, for Your Light Has Come”

10:45 AM performance only

Combined Choirs, Bells, and Instruments

Remarks by Bryon Grohman, Interim Choral Director 

Every autumn I find myself longing to return to my hometown in the Appalachian mountains of north­eastern Pennsylvania to experience the beauty of the fall season. When I was a boy, picking apples, raking leaves, and chopping firewood served as physical reminders that winter was fast approaching. Darkness advanced earlier with each passing evening as the rich kaleidoscope of the autumn landscape gave way to an earthly solemnity of walnut-brown, ash-gray, and coal-black. 

The seasons vividly showcase the circle of life and remind us of our mor­tality. It isn’t surprising that the early church organized its liturgical calendar alongside the changes of the equinox. As nature demonstrates the reality of birth, death, and new life, the church points us to the Gospel and its message of redemption through Christ.

As winter approaches, so do the cold and the dark, leaving us longing for warmth and light--both physically and spiritually. It is during this time that we are drawn to the manger, where we glimpse the Christ Child and behold his great light shin­ing in the darkness. Here, the proph­et Isaiah commands us to respond: to rise and shine, to reflect the light of hope born in the manger. 

This year’s Christmas Festival will feature music that portrays how light triumphs over darkness and cold gives way to warmth. Works will in­clude Norwegian composer Kim An­dre Arnesen’s “His Light in Us,”Dan­iel Pinkham’s majestic “Gloria”for choir and brass, and Eric Whitacre’s eternal a capella work, “Lux Aurum­que,”which translates, “Light warm and heavy as pure gold, and the angels sing softly to the newborn babe.

 

We hope you will plan to join this celebration, and invite your friends and neighbors.