It was an honor to be asked to perform again at the Christmas Eve services at Unity Church of Naples. I think this must be at least our fourth year in a row performing for their two services. The music director is Jodie DeSalvo and the Reverend Richard Rogers is the Pastor. Everything looked beautiful when we arrived at 3:00. Services were scheduled for 4:00 and 6:00 and we were to start prelude around 3:30. I was joined by my colleagues Joan Stewart and Diane Coffman, who make up the Seaside String Trio.
Since we had played there several times, I wanted to find music that we had not done before. I obtained a new album of Christmas music from Latham Publications arranged by Catherine McMichael and they were all beautiful arrangements. We performed Deck the Halls, Good King Wenceslas, Coventry Carol, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, What Child Is This?, The First Noel, and Il Est Ne. Jodie had asked me to choose two featured pieces. The first I chose was He Shall Feed His Flock from Handel’s Messiah which we played just before the service started. Since people were still coming in, we added one more, O Little Town of Bethlehem which was another beautiful arrangement that helped set the mood for the evening.
The second feature piece which was performed within the service was “Mary Did You Know?” I had heard their choir sing this years ago and loved it. I obtained the sheet music and arranged it for the trio to perform this year. I know we enjoyed playing it so I hope the congregation enjoyed it too! We also played along as the congregation sang the familiar carols, Angels We Have Heard on High, Silent Night and Joy to the World.
Jodie had a wonderful young singer featured during the service also. Kelly Cullinan sang Un Flambeau, Jeannette, Isabella and O Holy Night. She sang the latter song during their Candlelighting Ceremony. This is always an awesome sight when everyone holds up their lighted candles. Beautiful!
We have been asked back for next year so I am already thinking about possible music! Merry Christmas to all and we look forward to seeing you again next year!