Update: This giveaway is now closed.
Comfort & Joy: Music of Christmas, the annual holiday concert from Benissimo! Music Productions, will be at the Chapel of the Incarnate Word, 4503 Broadway, San Antonio, Texas 78209 (map), on Sunday, December 13, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. Adult tickets for $25 and student tickets (with ID) for $15 are available for purchase online; past concerts have sold out, so I recommend buying your tickets early. Benissimo has offered my family a set of tickets to attend the concert and another set of four tickets to give away to my readers. To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment on this blog post, no later than Wednesday, December 9, sharing your favorite holiday song. I will randomly choose a winner from among the comments.
Ruth Moreland, executive director of Benissimo, talked to me about what to expect at Comfort & Joy. She emphasized that from the moment visitors enter the historic chapel, they will be immersed in an experience of the true meaning of the Christmas holiday. The first half of the program will feature a cappella ensemble Copperleaf presenting early music, including early Christmas carols from Ireland and England, which will display the quintet’s expertise with five-part harmonies. The program is designed to be meditative; the audience will be asked to hold applause until the end of the first half. For a sample of Copperleaf’s sound, enjoy this song from a 2013 concert at Mission San José.
After intermission, the Blue Penny duo will bring their American roots music sound and instruments to a rousing set of carols from England, Ireland, and Appalachia. Copperleaf singers and guests vocalists and instrumentalists will join Blue Penny in larger ensembles. Finally, the audience will be invited to sing along with God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen–”O tidings of comfort and joy!”
Blue Penny always puts a lot of thought into the songs they choose, and I am looking forward to hearing the Christmas songs they choose for Comfort & Joy. My kids and I have heard Blue Penny perform at the Bulverde/Spring Branch Library and at the Briscoe Museum of Western Art. The qualities of Erica Murphy’s and Noelle Goforth’s voices combine beautifully in piercing harmonies, and it’s exciting to see which instruments—mandolin, banjo, guitar, etc.—they will bring out next.
I’ve written before about introducing your kids to cultural experiences. Moreland explained that Comfort & Joy is not a children’s concert, but parents are welcome to bring children who have the maturity to stay reasonably still and quiet for the roughly 90-minute concert. If your children are classical concert veterans, then you probably know what to expect; if you’re not sure, then Moreland recommends age 9 and up as a good rule of thumb.
For many San Antonio families, a concert of sacred music from Benissimo! Music Productions is a touchstone of their annual holiday experience. Although Voci di Sorelle gave their farewell concert in 2014, the tradition continues with Copperleaf, Blue Penny, and guest artists. I am looking forward to experiencing a Benissimo holiday concert with my family.
If you would like to win a set of four tickets to Comfort & Joy, please leave a comment on this blog post, no later than Wednesday, December 9, sharing your favorite holiday song. I will randomly choose a winner from among the comments.
Disclosure: Benissimo! Music Productions gave me four tickets for my family to use at the concert and four tickets to give away to my readers.