Celebrating a Multicultural
Hope, was sung by all of the singers and lead by David Smith Jr.
Smith is one of the most talented musical artists in Madison. The
evening would have been worthwhile to me, for this one selection sung
by Smith. He was incredible and I left feeling fortunate to hear such
beauteous music and voices from the youngest to the oldest artist.
Joe DeMain, the Madison Symphony Orchestra music director was as
witty as the professional musicians were splendid. I’d like to return
next year and bring others with me. Mt. Zion will offer another concert,
“Gospel Carols,” at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison on Friday,
December 20, 2019. There is still more time to wrap yourself into
Christmas via the music of the season.
I feel satisfied and satiated with all these special December
opportunities to soak up music, culture and faith in a variety of ways.
These experiences deepen my Christian faith and amplify my personal
joy during this last month of the year. I hope that all the dear readers of
the Capital City Hues have happy holidays too.
Christmas 2019 is a year of celebration that I will never forget because of all the invitations to celebrate peace, love and hope in new and especially unique
ways. I was invited to a “Posada” by my kind, talented poet friend Araceli Esparza. In Spanish, Posada means “inn” and in Mexico it is a re-enactment of Mary
and Joseph's search for a lodging in Bethlehem. A “Posada” is performed just before Christmas. Araceli inviting people into her home has my admiration for
sharing her culture and faith in this beautiful welcome to the Christmas season.
Annie Weatherby-Flowers is inviting the entire Madison community to the 1st Annual Afrocentric Forum and Gala on Friday, December 27 at the Madison
Concourse Hotel and Governor’s Club. She is one of the co-founders of the Madison Juneteenth Celebration, which focuses on the June 19th liberation of
African Americans from enslavement. Her organization, “Kujichagulia”, named after the Kwanzaa principle that means “self-determination,” is responsible for
not only the Juneteenth Celebration each year, but also for sharing critically important information in the Black community throughout the year. This forum
allows Madisonians to discuss racial equity in 2020 in Wisconsin and to share the community’s vision for well-being with invited politicians. It offers a rare
opportunity for necessary conversations between elected officials and Black community members. It includes a soul food buffet, a Kwanzaa celebration, and
an awards ceremony that honors African American women elders. This celebration, on the second night of Kwanzaa, breaks new ground in innovative ways to
connect celebration and community.
Madison’s famous second poet laureate, Andrea Musher, is organizing a joint celebration of the 8th night of Hanukkah and the 4th night of Kwanzaa at her
Dream Catcher Studio. I have never been to a celebration of Hanukkah and I look forward to building my knowledge and understanding of this important
holiday. Hanukkah is a Jewish festival commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem and is also known as the Festival of Lights.
My most recent new experience in December was attending the Madison Symphony Orchestra’s December 14 performance with the Madison Symphony
Chorus, Mount Zion Gospel Choir (with other churches included) and the Madison Youth Choirs. I attended this Christmas concert for the first time due to the
invitation of Mrs. Edith Lawrence Hilliard. As part of my respect for her, I came out at night in penetrating cold and ended up enjoying an evening full of beautiful
music, exquisite singing in many styles, and truly hearing Christmas at its best. Opera singers Michelle Johnson, soprano, and Mackenzie Whitney, tenor,
started the evening off well. Ms. Johnson’s voice soared and her performance was both inspiring and memorable. I felt happy for all of the girls in the choirs
who could see and hear such a remarkable role model, who was both a gifted and confident African American woman. Tamera Stanley, co-director of the Mount
Zion Gospel Choir, was as extraordinary as she always is. Leotha Stanley served as both a creative composer and arranger. His new composition, Christmas