Piano preview of Christmas peace from Steven C & Friends at the St Paul Cathedral

Steven C’s piano solos have been downloaded millions of times. Millions! He has played with the London Symphony Strings at Abbey Studios and with Mannheim Steamroller on the TODAY show. So I feel fortunate to have seen him in his own backyard, which it turns out is the same as my backyard.

Steven C (and his friends) played a set of Christmas and Emotive music at the Cathedral. His friends include the St Cecelia and St Gregory Choristers of the Cathedral Choir School, vocalist Kathleen Johnson and three musicians, Pat Frederick on violin, Charles Asch on cello and Lawrence Lawyer on pipe organ.

They started with O Come, O Come Emmanuel. The choir began a cappella. Then just the piano. Then the strings joined in. The music sounds like the Cathedral looks. The majesty draws you into the space but the details keep you there. A joyous start.

The second song was Still, Still, Still with piano and strings. It’s a more pensive piece and the audience was clearly touched – each in a different way. I find it soothing. It’s a one-hour break with stimulus that spoils you into a brain lull. But around me, I could see tears or joy and remembrance. Everyone has taken time from a busy week to escape and the music did not disappoint.

Some songs stand out – such as the siren’s plaintive start of Twas’ in the Moon of the Wintertime. And the husky low notes of Mary Did you Know.  There was a sing-along and Phil Coulter’s Irish Blessing. That’s always going to be a hit in St Paul.

I enjoyed Steven C’s original work too, especially Restored. Apparently, he felt called to write that just before he recorded the new album live at the Cathedral (Sep 2017). He wrote it based on his experience restoring old houses in the area and based on memories of the restoration of the Cathedral roof. (Remember when the Cathedral dome was green?) He wrote it during a 3-mile run to the Cathedral. And that is when I knew we shared a backyard. Because I had walked with a friend to the show that night,  4 miles each way in windy, freezing weather. But it was absolutely worth the hike!

Steven C has two more shows this season:

I rarely include video and I hope the artist won’t mind – but I thought everyone could a quick break of hectic for splendor of music and art

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