“Faith shines in the darkest of times.”
This line recurs again and again in “Hanukkah Lullaby,” the new piece composed by Angel City Chorale Director Sue Fink and choir member Denny Wynbrandt. The choir will give the World Premiere performance of this brand new song at our holiday concert, “A New Home for the Holidays,” on December 2 and 3.
“Hanukkah Lullaby” offers an important reminder: that faith and love can be sources of strength, even when things seem dark or even hopeless. As Sue Fink puts it: “We want our children to never have to suffer, and in times of great challenges like war, illness, political unrest or financial difficulties, joy and celebration at the holidays can seem a distant dream. ‘Hanukkah Lullaby’ attempts to answer a question with which we can all relate: How can you help your children and family remain resilient during difficult times?”
Reflecting on the hardships that some families endure over the holidays moved Fink and Wynbrandt to compose the new song. It includes the words of the Hebrew prayer traditionally spoken during the lighting of the Menorah. “That light is such a powerful symbol,” Fink says, “it’s hope in the darkness shining through.”
“A New Home for the Holidays” will include diverse songs from past and present that have something important in common with “Hanukkah Lullaby”: their words and music provide an affirming message of hope. The choir will re-interpret old favorites like “O Holy Night” and “Do You Hear What I Hear,” giving them new relevance. The audience will hear songs with sacred texts in Latin and Hebrew that have ancient origins but carry a message of hope that still resonates today across faiths and traditions. And audience members will have several opportunities to join in and sing along with favorite songs of holiday joy.
Fink says that she hopes the audience will come away from the concert feeling like the holidays have truly begun. “When they hear us sing, I hope that the audience will feel that people are actually good,” she says. “This is what can happen when people work together and create something joyous.”
If, as Fink and Wynbrandt write, “Faith shines in the darkest of times,” Angel City Chorale hopes that “A New Home for the Holidays” will renew your faith in your community and your family, lighting up the holiday season and beyond.
– Alexandra Apolloni