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Southerners know a thing or two about comfort; it is one of the things for which we are best known. Whether a delicious meal, or a conversation over iced tea shared with friends and family, comfort is essential, if only occasionally, to a balanced mind and life. As part of our collective traditions, Christmas has become a natural cadence point for comforts of family and of memories old and new. It is a season of pausing and remembering, and of creating anew and reviving.

Similarly, joy finds its way into our lives to unlock our senses and enliven our minds and bodies. It brings with it fresh waves of creativity and a desire to find it again and again. Joy is the reaction of our hearts to an overabundance of spirit and happiness; a pre-programmed setting in our being that triggers when we are finding our life’s best pathway.

Music can be a marriage of comfort and joy. It has the power to weave these individual strands together in an experience of surprising, even jarring tapestries of delight and contentment. Exuberance and peace can indeed live side by side through the power of music, with the result becoming something our hearts and minds crave as part of a tradition. Music has become, whether on purpose or by accident, synonymous with the tradition of celebrating holidays and occasions of significance. We sing to celebrate. We sing to consecrate. We sing to believe. We sing to remember.

Atlanta Master Chorale sings for all of these reasons, and we sing because we must. Comfort and Joy beckon us at Christmas time, so we sing to find them again. We combine our voices and spirits to weave that tapestry of exuberance and peace, which we cannot help but share with each other, and hopefully with you. So, we invite you to come. Bring your families, bring your friends; bring the ones who are part of your comfort and your joy, or the ones you want to bring into that fold. December 9 and 10 at the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts.

[Jamie Clements]

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