Friday, December 20
Paul Winter's 40th Annual Winter Solstice Celebration
7:30 PM - 10 PM
A dazzling extravaganza of music, dance, and spectacle within the awesome space and acoustics of the world's largest cathedral, the Winter Solstice Celebration is a contemporary take on ancient solstice rituals, when people felt a calling to come together on the longest night of the year to welcome the return of the sun and the birth of the new year. The resounding acoustics have inspired the music of the event, and the vast dimensions of the Cathedral have given birth to unique theatrical elements. A 28-foot spiral “Solstice Tree,” adorned with a multitude of bells, gongs, and chimes symbolizing the diversity of the life family, becomes a part of the music; a huge Earth-globe travels through the Nave and rises over the center-stage; and a giant sun gong ascends, with its player, to the 100-foot vault of the Cathedral at the symbolic moment of the return of the sun.
This is the first time in seven years that the Saturday night concert will take place on the actual night of the winter solstice. Paul Winter and his colleagues will be pulling out all the stops to celebrate this double anniversary of the Consort and the group's solstice event. Gospel singer Theresa Thomason, a beloved favorite of past Winter Solstice Celebrations, will be featured, and the 10-member Paul Winter Consort will be joined once again by the 25 dancers and drummers of the Forces of Nature Dance Theatre. Special guest performers will be announced.