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DECEMBER 9, 2007  

Red Solstice: holiday concert with Red {an orchestra}

We've been going to Red concerts for several years now, and you never know quite what to expect, other than you're in for an interesting evening of music.

This year they've been playing in different locations after a couple of years at the Masonic Auditorium. Yesterday's venue was Pilgrim Congregational Church in Tremont.

I've been there once or twice before, but never for a concert. It was wonderful! The sound was rich and beautiful, and the building was inspiring even to a non-religious person like me.

Stained glass dome over sanctuary in Pilgrim ChurchLook up!

You just have to marvel at the Tiffany-type stained glass dome over the sanctuary.

The entire space is created with interconnected domes so there are no columns anywhere to spoil your view.

There are seats for several hundred on the ground level (actually the second floor of the building). A semi-circular balcony wraps around most of the perimeter and holds another couple hundred.

There was a good crowd on Saturday night, including several of our Near West Side friends that we've never seen at a Red concert before.

Looking at the orchestra from our second row seatsOur seats were in the second row, making us nearly part of the orchestra itself. It was really interesting to watch the players up close, and the sound was terrific.

The first piece, Respighi's Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite No. 3, sounded appropriately festive at times even though it was completely unfamiliar to me.

I've heard Vivaldi's Winter from The Four Seasons before, but this was special. A 15 year old violinist just blew us all away:

The final piece, Jonathan Sheffer’s arrangement of Heinrich Schutz’s A Christmas Story used familiar Bible verses but was staged and performed in a dramatic way. It kept me interested all the way through, but I enjoyed the beautiful music of the two earlier works.

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