Christmas Concert | December 6, 2019
Christmas seems closely associated with visitors, and this dynamic is part of the Christmas story itself. Joseph and Mary were visitors in Bethlehem. The wise men traveled many, many miles to visit the new-born babe. Jesus traveled much further to visit our little blue planet for a short thirty-three years. How strangely sad that in each of these instances the visitors suffered ill treatment. May we remember the admonition of scripture.
Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. —Hebrews 13:2
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. —Matthew 25:40
We hear the same lesson in the excerpt from Amahl and the Night Visitors, the sacred opera presented earlier this quarter by the music department. The Wise Men sing of the Christ child, while the mother sings of her own son, Amahl – and both are correct.
How do we treat our visitors? As we greet visitors to our homes, to our congregations, to our campus, and to our country, may we see Christ in each one and treat them accordingly, and may you experience a blessed Christmas season.
Passion and Resurrection | May 18, 5:30 p.m.
Composed in 1798, Haydn’s “Nelson Mass” was probably performed when the English admiral visited Eisenstadt in September 1800. In his manuscript catalogue Haydn refers to this work as “Missa in Angustiis,” or “Mass in Times of Affliction.” This name reflects Haydn’s reality as he faced European wars and political strife in the decades following the French revolution. University Singers of Walla Walla University is excited to perform this work with professional soloists from Portland, Spokane, Pullman, and the voice faculty of our own department.
The Latvian composer Eriks Ešenvalds composed “Passion and Resurrection” in 2005 for the Academic State Choir Latvija. The composer presents the death and resurrection of Christ in four movements, drawing primarily from the gospels of Matthew, Luke, and John. The work begins by quoting a 16th-century motet by the Spanish composer Cristóbal de Morales (1500–1553) on the despairing text of Job 7:16-21, “Let me alone, for my days are vanity ... thou shalt seek me in the morning, but I shall not be”. The Morales motet becomes a leitmotif that reappears several times. I Cantori of Walla Walla University is pleased to partner with Arwen Myers of Portland, Oregon, to bring this oratorio to eastern Washington.