O tannenbaum

    A few weeks back I began plotting a trip to New York City for a bit of holiday cheer. I have a ton of friends there, many of whom are musicians with firsthand knowledge of the best concerts to attend.

    Like many people, I adore the sights and sounds of New York at this time of year, even to the point of enjoying the hoards of people who descend on Manhattan. For me, nothing beats strolling down Park Avenue, cutting over to 5th Avenue and taking in the Rockefeller Center ChristmasTree.

    That is, until I saw the Love Park Christmas Tree at night.

    It’s nowhere near as big as The Rockefeller Tree. Instead it has a somber simplicity with its muted red, blue and green lights.

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    The tree got me thinking about spending more of my first Christmas season in Philadelphia enjoying my new city.

    One of the things I did over the weekend was to take part in Christmas on Logan Square by attending a concert by The Philadelphia Singers at St. Clement’s Church.

    Seasonal works by Benjamin Britten, Gustav Holst and Judith Weir were performed. But best of all was Franz Biebl’s “Ave Maria” for male singers. I was extremely pleased that it was part of the program. If you’ve never heard it, I implore you to check it out and give yourself a real Christmas treat.

    To end the concert, The Philadelphia Singers filled the aisles for a sing-a-long with the audience. As I joined in and belted out “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” “Angels We Have Heard on High” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” I was loving my decision to stay in Philly.

    When I left St. Clement’s, I headed across Cherry Street and took a right onto The Ben Franklin Parkway. My night was complete when there, before me, in Love Park, was my new favorite Christmas Tree.

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