Saturday, December 23, 2017

A special seasonal concert by Brian Owens and members of the SLSO

Celluloid Western star Dale Evans Rogers is quoted as saying that Christmas "is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it's Christmas.”

I don't know whether that quote is apocryphal or not, but "love in action" certainly seems like a great way to describe an appearance by members of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra at the St. Louis County Detention Center on December 8th.

According to the press release that appeared in my in box yesterday from the symphony's Stores from Backstage project, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra IN UNISON Artist in Residence Brian Owens, along with a quartet of SLSO string players, performed "hopeful music" for an audience of around 30 accused teen detainees at the center's Family Court.

"Hope is something that we really can thrive on,” Owens said. “It’s something that can give us meaning and purpose.”

Mr. Owens will probably be familiar to local music lovers from his appearance at the SLSO's annual Gospel Christmas concert on December 14th, as well as from his many performances at local concert venues and even on the cabaret scene.

Janet Johnson, St. Louis County Detention Center Program Specialist, said she believes the performance will “inspire” the teens.

“I think that this will open their eyes to things that they weren’t able to see before,” Johnson said. “It could change their future.”

The performance was part of the SLSO SymphonyCares program. It’s the same program that shared music with adult offenders at Missouri Eastern Correctional Center last year.

In Matthew 25:31- 46, Christ is quoted as listing the many things that will get one a seat at the right hand of the Father come judgment day. It ends (in the World English Bible translation): "I was in prison, and you came to me." If that concert on December 8th isn't in the Christmas spirit, I don't know what is.

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