Unitarians Offer Musical “Journey Of Light”

Christmas songs are not for the faint of heart.

“Have a Holly Jolly Christmas” makes some folks puke. “Jingle Bell Rock” can push you over the edge. And don’t get me started on “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”

So it’s good to know that there is still some true holiday music out there.

This Sunday (December 15, 11 a.m.), the Unitarian Church in Westport hosts a special performance. Music director Ed Thompson has written a wonderful piece. Using uilleann pipes (Irish bagpipes), tin whistle, violin, organ, bodhran hand drum and harp — and backed by a chorus and soloists — “Journey of Light” celebrates the winter solstice.

It’s holiday music with a twist: secular, warm and melodic. The text is not biblical — but it is deeply spiritual.

“Journey of Light,” at the Unitarian Church.

With authentic Irish instruments, and rhythmic jigs and reels, Thompson’s work asks why we sing during the darkest of seasons. The answer: the importance of community, of sharing our own inner light, and the importance of yearly celebrations that date back thousands of years.

Thompson — Juilliard-trained, whose works have been commissioned throughout the US and Europe — has assembled noted musicians for the piece. Jerry O’Sullivan is one of the premier Irish pipe players on the East Coast, while Nicole Schroeder (tin whistle) has worked on Broadway.

The public is invited to enjoy this hopeful, exciting and celebratory work.

4 responses to “Unitarians Offer Musical “Journey Of Light”

  1. I sang it last year. It’s a beautiful piece,and the instruments are wonderful! Sunday Dec 15 11 am, at the Unitarian Church.

  2. so many Christmas songs were written by Jews. Not many people who sing these songs know this fact.

  3. here are a few White Christmas by Irving Berlin Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Edward Pola and George Wyle Let it Snow by Sammy Cahn Chestnuts Roasting Mel Torme and Robert Wells. The illusion or fantasy of snow at Christmas was from Irving Berlins music and mind. M any more have been created by other Jewish writers. Happy Holidays to all.

  4. Dan , Every song you mentioned in this post has a Jewsih writer. Jingle Bell Rock by Joseph Carlton Beal, Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Eddie Pola and George Wyle, and Holy Jolly Christmas By Johnny Marks. Mr Marks specialized in Christmas songs. Santa Claus is Coming to Town written by a Jew Fred Cots. Happy Holidays. Richard