What we’re reading now- holiday edition

We’re back from our hiatus.  We’ve had our battle with Mass Health and we came out victorious.  So, it’s time to catch all of you up on what we’ve been reading and doing other than preparing to fight for our right to health care.

Things to do:

If you’re looking for things to do here are some options.  We’ll start with Matthew Hall.

The Morning Star: Concert Saturday, 12/21, 8pm‏

I’d like to invite you to a concert of choral and orchestral music of J.S. Bach which I’m directing this Saturday.  (ed note- that’s tonight)  It will feature seasonal music (Advent, Christmas, shepherds, etc.) focused around two chorales: Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland and Wie schön leuchtet die Morgenstern. The chorales, in their particular time and context, were as the Top 40 are to (some of) us today.
Try to imagine what it might have been like to hear Bach’s compositions if they were based on music you already knew. Imagine the wonder of being able to hum along to Bach.
Over the course of the evening, we’ll hear and sing (yes, indeed, audience participation is encouraged!) the chorales in many different forms. When we perform Cantata 61 (which is based on both these tunes) at the end of the concert, hopefully we will hear it with a new familiarity and intimacy.
(Other highlights of the program are a performance of the rarely heard Sanctus, BWV 238 and the Sinfonia pastorale from the Christmas oratorio, which Bach’s answer to Handel’s “Pifa” from Messiah.)
The Morning Star: Bach’s Christmas
December 21, 2013, 8:00pm

Church of Our Saviour | 25 Monmouth St., Brookline
Tickets: $20/15
Purchase tickets

If you’re looking for Christmas Eve services to attend I’ve got a few suggestions for you.  I’ll be singing in these and I’d love to have some friendly faces in the audience.

St. Peter’s Central Sq. – Christmas Eve
7:30pm – Christmas Carols & Choral Anthems
8pm – Holy Eucharist (Christmas Eve Service)

Mission Church, Mission Hill in Boston
10:30pm – prelude, 11:00pm Christmas Eve mass

Things to read:

A story about this popped up on Boston.com not long ago.  It’s a fascinating read.  I’ve been in that building and I had no idea what was under my feet.

Detail of Steinert Music Hall. Underground and steps from the Boylston T stop.

The link is absolutely worth a read as well as stories here and here.

Then i09 brought us this.  It isn’t very Christmas-y, but it is SO COOL.

I’d hang just that sign up. It’s so… British and Victorian. I love it.

Book your travel plans now folks, this just sounds fantastic.

HOBBITSES!  Ahem, if you haven’t seen The Desolation of Smaug yet (Geoff and I haven’t) then check this out.  Just don’t read the comments.  These are photos and drawings for some of the fantastical creatures from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.  Here be dragons.  Or a dragon, whatever.  You know what I mean.


And of course, what post would be complete without a nod to Game of Thrones or George R. R. Martin.  I post this without comment.

If George R. R. Martin was Santa Claus.

Things to watch:

This nifty video on winter and snow.  From a bunch of professors in California.

Things to listen to:

Last but not least, this video is just outstanding.  It was posted on Boston.com this week and it was SO good that I made Geoff sit down and watch it.  It’s my favorite Christmas carol and, for the first time in my life, I get to sing it this year on Christmas Eve.  This was filmed at the MFA here in Boston on 12/14/13 and it’s just fantastic.  The link to the article on Boston.com is here.  The video is embedded below.  Enjoy.

Merry Christmas,


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