Every year at St. Peter Claver Church in West Hartford, my parish, a Christmas Concert is arranged and put on to put people in the holiday spirit. The music director for our parish, Tim Stella, just happens to be the organist for Phantom of the Opera on Broadway (yes, that Phantom on that Broadway). Needless to say the choir gets great training and lessons from Tim. I know, I sang in the choir for one year and performed in this concert. I learned more about singing in that one year than any other stretch of time I’ve ever sang and I’m thankful to Tim for teaching me all he did. I was also thrilled to get to attend the concert and listen to music from the wonderful choir, the talented instrumentalists, our wonderful cantor, Amanda Kohl, Tim’s talented wife Flo, and our supremely talented guest soloist, John Cudia, who happens to have played both Phantom and Jean Valjean on Broadway (no biggie). Here he is shown as the Phantom on Broadway.
The music ranged from beautiful duets, like a version of The Prayer and Gesu Bambino, to spectacular solo performances like O Holy Night, Grown Up Christmas List, and Will There Really be a Morning, to great choral pieces like Do You Hear What I Hear and Light of the Stable, to a comedic version of the 12 Days of Christmas. I did record all of these, but I can’t find a way to put the recordings in the post here. So I found the best versions I could of whatever was out on the worldwide interwebs.
I love the Concert every year and was thrilled that I could go again this year. It got me in the Holiday spirit very well.