Tickets to the eighth annual Westmont Christmas Festival went on sale Nov. 8 and quickly sold out. Westmont is allowing the public to attend a free dress rehearsal of the program on Thursday, Nov. 29, at 7:30 p.m. The doors will open for the dress rehearsal at 7:15 p.m., and no reservations are required. Please do not arrive before 7 p.m. if you wish to attend the dress rehearsal. This will be a working rehearsal, but it will be in full, formal attire and will run as seamlessly as possible. Please call (805) 565-7140 for more information.
This year’s performance, “A Multitude of the Heavenly Host,” features the opening of Francis Poulenc’s “Gloria” on Friday, Nov. 30 at 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 1, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 2, at 3 p.m. in First Presbyterian Church. The performances sold out online in less than 24 hours.
The concert will include a host of modern compositional voices from the French master Poulenc to contemporaries Keith Getty, John Tavener, John Rutter, Dan Forrest and Dan Goeller. “We will also feature traditional carols of the season to help us recreate the angel’s songs,” says Michael Shasberger, Adams professor of music and worship.
“Usually the first words that angels speak to humans are ‘Don’t be afraid,’” he says. “I think we can draw from this that angels are at least pretty startling, and maybe even terrifyingly stunning. The news about the birth of Jesus to the shepherds on the hills outside of Bethlehem was not just delivered by one such messenger but rather ‘suddenly’ by a multitude of angelic visitors. Keeping in mind that nothing outshines the presence of the light of life in this nativity story, we will strive to share the wonder of those heavenly hosts in word and music.”