Photos courtesy ChoralSounds Northwest
Pictured right, Artistic Director and Burien resident Brian J. Winnie, who begins his second season with ChoralSounds Northwest, presents "I’ll be Home for Christmas" Dec. 8 & 9 at the Highline Performing Arts Center, Burien. Pictured left is a festive moment from a prior production.

UPDATE: ChoralSounds NW, "I’ll be Home for Christmas" runs Dec. 8 & 9; Topical but family-friendly

ChoralSounds Northwest will feature "I'll be Home for Christmas", Saturday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m. & Sunday, Dec. 9, at 2:00 p.m., at the Highline Performing Arts Center in Burien. Tickets are $15 to $25, those 17 & under free with a paid adult ticket. or 206-246-6040.

The public is also encouraged to attend a free preview concert for a taste of the show the prior Sunday, Dec. 2, at 2:p.m. The half hour preview takes place at Glendale Lutheran Church where the choir rehearses, 13455 2nd Ave. SW, in

ChoralSounds Northwest is part of Northwest Associated Arts, which includes KidSounds Northwest, YouthSounds Northwest, TeenSounds Northwest and SilverSounds Northwest.

The presentation includes singing, instrumentation, dance and acting, plus a poignant first act with an uplifting resolution. A soldier is overseas at war while his wife and daughter are left to celebrate the holiday season without him. Then, unexpectedly, he returns home for Christmas.

ChoralSounds describes "I'll be Home for Christmas" as a family story of hope, love, and joy told through a community of singers. With the father fighting for his country, his family back home shares their memories of love with pieces such as Sjolund’s Kumbaya and Eric Whitacre’s Five Hebrew Love Songs.

The second act sees some expected fun and merriment as CSN sings a true family Christmas celebration including an unforgettable Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus.

"The whole theme of this year was chosen along the lines of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, with all of the tragic war times that have been going on, and with all of the people missing during the holiday season," said Artistic Director and Burien resident Brian J. Winnie, who begins his second season with ChoralSounds Northwest. "We try to implement a variety of art forms into our story line."

The soldier's wife and their daughter in the presentation are real-life mother and daughter Mandy and Anna Skey. Mandy is a choir member.

"We've got Anna doing a vignette, and Mandy, a solo about what it is like to be alone for Christmas," he said. Anna portrays a 10 year-old.

Winnie was raised north of Scranton, Pennsylvania, taught a music program for four years at a Philadelphia middle school, then three years at a high school near Princeton, New Jersey. He moved to Seattle for a doctorate in musical arts in choral conducting at UW. Also, he was asked by the chancellor of UW, Tacoma, to found a choir there, their first he said, called "World Voices Choir". He will also build a music appreciation class, music and culture class and vocal technique course there.

"From the moment I interviewed with these folks (at the choir) a week after I got to Seattle, I felt that this was the most family-oriented choir I've ever seen," Winnie enthused. "It was true community. The members (about 65, ages 17 to 81) always ask each other how each other's weekend was. They are alway knee-deep in conversation during all of the breaks. They are very supportive of each other's musical growth, a family away from home every week we meet."

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