Thousands of people in Washington DC have been singing traditional Christmas carols this week, courtesy of Keith and Kristyn Getty, the preeminent writers and performers of modern hymns in the world today.
On Tuesday night, Keith & Kristyn performed for Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Second Lady Karen Pence, as well as their guests, at a holiday reception at the Vice President’s Residence. The Gettys, along with some of their touring band, performed their modern hymns and led the group in traditional carol singing.
On Wednesday night, Keith & Kristyn brought their annual Christmas tour to The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Opera House for a sold-out performance of Sing!An Irish Christmas. Together with special guests including classical violinist David Kim and jazz bassist John Patitucci, the Gettys again led the capacity-crowd of thousands – including Vice President Mike Pence and his wife again – in the singing of traditional carols.
Singing traditional music together is Keith and Kristyn’s mission. Earlier this year, the duo launched a major global initiative named, Sing!, to revive the essential act of congregational singing. This initiative coincides with the 500th anniversary year of the Reformation, in which Martin Luther placed a strong emphasis on singing hymns together.
Sing! An Irish Christmas is currently touring 15 cities across the U.S., making stops at some of the best-known concert venues, including Washington D.C. (The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Opera House), New York City (Carnegie Hall), Atlanta (The Fox Theatre), Cleveland (KeyBank State Theatre), Colorado Springs (Broadmoor Hotel), and more. The Gettys have designed this year’s concert program in two parts. The first half will be presented as if the listener were attending a village square gathering featuring carols and other seasonal vocal, instrumental and dance folk music to celebrate this time of year. The second half invites the audience to follow the Christmas story through four readings from the Book of Luke—the Benedictus of the High Priest Zechariah, Mary's Magnificat, the Angel's Gloria in Excelsis Deo and Simeon's Nunc Dimittis. These are the songs that carry the story of Christ's coming into the world. These readings will be interspersed with carols for everyone to sing.
REMAINING TOUR DATES:
12/15 CHICAGO, IL Christian Heritage Academy
12/17 CHARLOTTE, NC Calvary Church
12/18 ATLANTA, GA The Fox Theatre Featuring Ricky Skaggs, David Crowder & The Jubal Chorus
12/19 ROANOKE, VA The Berglund Center
12/20 NEW YORK, NY Carnegie Hall Featuring Joni Eareckson Tada, David Kim, & John Patitucci
12/21 READING, PA Santander Performing Arts Center
12/23 NASHVILLE, TN The Schermerhorn Symphony Hall
Sing! An Irish Christmas caps a wonderful 2017 for the Gettys. In June, Keith was honored as an “Officer of the Order of the British Empire” (OBE) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The award, which commemorates Getty’s contribution to “Music and Modern Hymn Writing,” marked the first occasion that the award has been given to an individual involved in the world of contemporary church music. Later in the summer, the Gettys published their first book, Sing! – How and Why We Worship (B&H Publishing Group), and also hosted a Sing! conference in Nashvillle in September that was attended by thousands from around the world and featured a 5,000-person hymn-sing at the famed Grand Ole Opry House.
[Image: Vice President Mike Pence, Second Lady Karen Pence, Kristyn Getty, Keith Getty. Credit: Bryan Blanken/Freed Photography]