The Cathedral of St. John the Divine is practically in our backyard. It is a beautiful, massive structure; the fourth largest Christian church in the world. We’ve enjoyed visiting, exploring the halls and chapels, hearing choirs singing on Sunday afternoons, and just standing in awe at the sheer size of the place. So when my coworker Lorelei asked if I’d like tickets to a Christmas concert there, I jumped at the opportunity.
Klane and I got all dressed up for the concert Saturday night and walked up to the cathedral. When we picked up our tickets at the box office, we were pleasantly surprised to find out they were front row, center! We could not believe it. Best seats in the house, and for free!
The concert was absolutely incredible. The acoustics inside the cathedral are unbelievable, and the musical talent was fantastic. First was a medley of carols by the choir accompanied by a harp. The sounds of the choir echoing off the stone walls and ceiling created an angelic, almost haunting effect.
The harpist performed a solo, which was impressive as well. I was happy we were sitting right in front, so we could watch her fingers glide over the strings! The harp is such a beautiful and interesting instrument.
The audience stood to sing carols together between performances, which was also cool. I loved hearing the huge organ playing in the cathedral. Such an amazing sound.
Then the choir and orchestra performed Handel’s Messiah. The soloists were incredible, the choir sounded like angels, and the orchestra was amazing. Klane and I especially loved the first violinist. I also loved when the soprano performed the part where she sings the words from Luke 2. She was so animated in telling the story of the Savior’s birth. And then when it came to the part in the story when suddenly the shepherds were surrounded by heavenly hosts singing, the choir joined in to sing “Glory to God in the Highest, Peace on Earth, good will toward men!” It was amazing.
My favorite part of the Messiah is “For Unto Us a Child is Born”. If you only watch one of these videos, watch this one. It was amazing! I loved hearing this performed live in such an amazing setting.
Another great thing was that the programs had all the words to the music so the audience could read along. It was so neat to read the scripture as it was sung, this added so much meaning to the performance. This was such an incredible night and will remain one of my favorite Christmas events in the city. It was centered on the true meaning of Christmas, celebrating the birth of Christ. I am so glad we went!