We have weathered another season of “seasonal” music. The first time I heard Christmas music this year was at a drug store in late October. We hadn’t even celebrated Halloween yet! The fact that we have virtually ignored All Saints Day, several other church holidays in November and then flatly run over Thanksgiving in favor of the commercial viability of Christmas and the music that goes with it is rather sad.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas music. I have feasted on some especially fine arrangements and new works in choral and instrumental performances this season, but can’t we make certain distinctions? When our sacred music gets mixed up with buying batteries or pain relievers in October–well, it makes me want to take a stronger pain reliever.
This brings us back to one of the earlier topics we discussed. Where and when does sacred music belong? I believe that a seasonal concert is an extension of the sacred experience and, even, in the best cases, verges on worship.
I also have come to realize that many ensembles are beginning to mix the sacred with slightly “lighter” fare in order to please more ears. It’s sacred music light. I can understand trying to appeal to more audience members–in these economic times, it has to be done–but it doesn’t have to be done in October.
I hope all of you were able to experience the joy of the season through the most breathtaking music that could be offered. On the radio and in concert I heard some of the best that is out there. Blessings to you in this new year.