Glorious music and song, festive stories and the warmth of the holidays combine to capture your heart and wrap you in the Christmas spirit with Winter Harp on Dec. 10. (Submitted)

Transport yourself to medieval time with enchanting Winter Harp in Chilliwack

Winter Harp brings medieval attire, intricately carved instruments, spectacular sounds of Christmas

You truly know Christmas is around the corner when one very extraordinary show makes its way to Chilliwack.

With gorgeous medieval attire, intricately carved instruments, and the spectacular sounds of Christmas echoing through the centuries, Winter Harp is the supreme celebration of seasonal spirit, and it returns to the Chilliwack Cultural Centre on Dec. 10.

“Winter Harp concerts both evoke and create beautiful memories. We remember the Christmas trees we decorated, the joy of spending time with loved ones, the anticipation of Christmas morning. At Winter Harp the carols we perform and the stories and poems we read take people into their memories,” says Lori Pappajohn, the show’s co-founder and musical director. “They leave the concert with beautiful new memories. We’re looking forward to seeing old friends and new at the concerts.”

The welcome return of Winter Harp offers a wondrous concert experience that captures the joyful spirit of the season. Winter Harp’s outstanding musicians and singers perform a collection of music that ranges from familiar carols to Celtic and medieval music. Magical backdrops of cathedrals and snow set the stage for classical harps, drums, temple bells, flutes, violin/fiddle, and an assortment of beautiful ancient and rare instruments — including the ethereal-sounding bass psaltery, the organistrum, and the Swedish nyckelharpa.

“Winter Harp traces its roots back to 1984 when, as a young reporter, I was told to write a feature on New Westminster Public Library’s chief librarian, Alan Woodland. I wasn’t thrilled at first, but within minutes of talking to Alan I was entranced by his love of books — and even more taken when we discovered a shared love of poetry, stories and music,” said Pappajohn. “We started by doing a small library Christmas show together, Alan’s poetry and stories and my music. That was the kernel of what was to become Winter Harp. I’m thrilled to be sharing our 25th year of Christmas-times performance with old friends and new.”

Time and passion are imbued with every aspect of Winter Harp’s performance. The costumes, designed by Pappajohn and sewn by a dedicated dressmaker, pair with backdrops that are the culmination of months of design and detailed work. Everything comes to life in the gentle glow of candles onstage, creating a breath-taking pre-Raphaelite diorama and transporting audiences into the memories of Christmas past.

Winter Harp is coming to the Chilliwack Cultural Centre on Dec. 10 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $45 for adults, $42 for seniors and $40 for youth and can be purchased at the Centre Box Office, online at www.chilliwackculturalcentre.ca, or by calling 604-391-SHOW(7469).

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