This post was taken from a letter Utah Chamber Artists received from an audience member at our Christmas concert on Monday, December 3, 2018.
The selection of the little match girl passion for the first half of the concert was a programming stroke of genius and very moving. The piece itself was an “unusual” arrangement and, if performed without context, may have been disturbing or weird to some. Yet, when placed in context of UCA’s support of The INN Between’ s mission and it being close to Christmas, it highlighted the value and necessity of what The INN does for our homeless population. I know of no one who would want their parents to die being suffering and unnoticed on the street. We try to keep our parents in the nicest conditions we can, providing them food, shelter, and love until their bodies can no longer sustain life. We are there for them when they need support and frequently are there when their life ends. They die a dignified death because we care. We do not know what circumstances led to others sleeping in the street or not having relatives or friends there to support them. The homeless are someone’s child and may even have children of their own. If we can’t imagine allowing our parents or children suffering, alone, forgotten, and dying in the streets
The piece was incredibly difficult with changing rhythms and meter, a complex text, many difficult harmonies, and odd-interval pitches that seemed to come out of nowhere. The performance must have been physically and emotionally draining. There are few choirs that would even attempt to perform that piece and far less who could pull it off. UCA is one of the few who can and who can do it well. Monday’s concert was proof of that. The blue jeans, lighting, percussion support, and even the dancer (I’m not a fan of dancers and choirs together as the dancing generally distracts me from the music) added to the performance and helped to convey the powerful message contained in the story of the Little Match Girl. It wholly supported the mission of The INN Between., then we should not ignore those who have encountered insurmountable challenges in life and have found themselves homeless, living, and dying on the streets. The INN provides resources, care, and a dignified death to those who would otherwise die alone and forgotten. Kudos to UCA for their selection and performance of the little match girl passion.
As for the second half, what can I say? Hearing Handel’s Messiah choruses done by a group that can actually separate the notes during the runs in “For Unto us a Child is Born” and “All We Like Sheep” without slowing down the tempo is magical. The extended standing ovation is evidence of what the rest of the audience thought about the concert. I must admit that I was very touched by the entirety of the performance.
Thank you for all you do for UCA and for the Arts in Utah.
— Rob Baskin