from Winter Harp Director
As I write this, the snow that fills my garden is turning twilight blue and the pale winter sun is setting into the western sea. The darkest night, the solstice, is behind us and now the days are getting longer. Each day there is more light, more light, more light. The year’s timekeeper has finally turned her face towards far-off spring. Last week, walking over the snow-covered land, I found pussy willows -- the early promise that yes, warmth will return.
I want to take this opportunity to wish you all the very best for the coming year. And to thank you for being part of Winter Harp.
Each year one or two concerts stand out in my memory. And this year it was the Vancouver concert at St. Andrews Wesley Church. This magnificent structure was built in the style of a medieval cathedral with stained glass windows, soaring stone arches and room for close to 1,000 people. The night was cold, the old church drafty -- and it was as if the audience and Winter Harp were huddling together for warmth.
Inside that beautiful space, Winter Harp told the stories of Christmas and winter -- we wove the magic, the music drifting high into the dark arches of the ceiling. And then it was over. The stage lights were turned off, and the large, heavy wooden doors opened so the audience could leave. And as the doors swung open, it was as if something mystical had occurred -- the wintery scenes we had created inside with stories and songs were happening outside. Snowflakes filled the air, somersaulting down the sky. It was as if we were walking into Narnia -- a breathtakingly beautiful world of snow.
There were magical moments at the other concerts, too -- far too many to recount. But in short, the magic occurs because you, the audience, come to see us. You may not know it, but you bring the magic in with you -- with your memories, your joyous faces, your tears, your sighs and your applause. What you give us, we give back to you.
We can’t thank you enough. 2008 has been a tumultuous year for many of us -- a year of ups and downs. But through it we persist, strengthened by your presence around us at these concerts. It is the time of year to be thankful for all we have -- and to search our hearts for how we may help those less fortunate now and throughout the year. And it is a time of rejoicing -- through stories and songs we danced through the darkest nights of the year. And now, the light is returning.
To all of you a very Merry Christmas and the very best in all you do in the coming year.
See you in 2009.
Winter Harp Director