Nelson Boschman & the band - I Saw Three Ships
Garth Bowen – God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Ron Reed – William Nicholson: Christmas Drinks Party
Sara Ciantar – How Long
Ron Reed – Charles Dickens: Seven Poor Travellers
sheree plett & eisenhauer – lights used to shine
Luci Shaw – The Overshadow, Virgin, Madonna and Child with Saints
Karly Warkentin – a new song for Christmas Presence
Ron Reed – Frederic Buechner: The Face In The Sky
sheree plett & eisenhauer – what child is this
Ron Reed - Wayne Harrel: The Camels Of Ancient Yore (as told by a forgetful Grandmother, c1600)
Garth Bowen – Go Tell It On The Mountain
Nelson Boschman & the band – Christmas Time Is Here
sheree plett & eisenhauer – cloak room
Luci Shaw - Madeleine L'Engle: The Tree
Luci Shaw – Mary's Song
Garth Bowen – White Christmas
Ron Reed – David Sedaris: Santa's Little Helper
sheree plett & eisenhauer – oh emmanuel
Ron Reed – Ron Reed: It's A Wonderful Life
James Lamb – O Come O Come Emmanuel
Ron Reed - Frederic Buechner: excerpt from Emmanuel
Garth Bowen – Alleluia
Ron Reed - David Kossoff: excerpt from Seth
Luci Shaw was our special guest last night, driving in all the way from that o so little town of Bellingham just to read us her poems, and one by her dear friend Madeleine L'Engle. Her brand new collection of Christmas and other incarnational poems, Accompanied by Angels, is available at the Regent Bookstore, as is her classic anthology of Christmas pieces by various poets A Widening Light, which includes the L'Engle poem Luci read for us.
Like the fabled MacNamara, jazz pianist Nelson Boschman is the leader of our Christmas Presence house band: his Mennonite Jazz Committee (love that moniker) just released a brand new Christmas CD, "Dawn Of Grace," and The Nelson Boschman Trio put out "Keeping Time: Volume 02" this fall – like Volume 01 (which includes my great favourites "Song For Ordinary Time" and "Jerusalem Hymn") the recordings are structured around the liturgical calendar, and the new one features quite a few Advent / Christmas / Epiphany numbers. You can order either of the Keeping Time cds or buy downloads of specific songs at the CSCSS website. I'm not sure where you can buy the MJC recordings (apart from the PT lobby at Christmas Presence), but if I find out from NeBo, I'll be sure to let you know. Also in the band we had Brett Ziegler on keyboards, Kenton Wiens and Rick Colhoun on drums and percussion, and Becca Robertson on bass.
sheree plett and Eisenhauer (that's her husband Jeremy) have just put out a brand new Christmas cd called "Lights Used To Shine" – and hey, there's even a dedication "to everyone at christmas presence – without them this album would probably not exist." My. That feels good. sher and jer (along with the band) are pretty much our "artists in residence" this Christmas: they'll be playing with us again Dec 10 at PT, Dec 15 in the valley and Dec 19 on the North Shore.
New to the line-up were three members of baroque folk ensemble Wicker Robot; Karly Warkentin, Sara Ciantar and James Lamb. Karly even wrote a new song for (and sort of about) Christmas Presence. Wow. Wish we'd been recording! The amazing Sara Ciantar not only has a cd ("How Long") produced by one of our two little drummer boys, Rick Colhoun, but she'll be playing the pipe organ at our Traditional Christmas Presence in the Holy Trinity sanctuary Tuesday December 11. Crazy talented.
Garth Bowen is a seasoned Christmas Presence veteran, and goes back even further, to a time before there even was a Christmas Presence – Garth and I were both in the cast of PT's very first production of COTTON PATCH GOSPEL at the Richmond Gateway. He's currently working on a Christmas cd, but in the meantime you can hear his marvelous "Alleluia" on the Pacific Theatre "Christmas Presence" cd.
For other Christmas readings, check out Oblations