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Portland Music: Season of Lights Concert

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First Christian Church hosts Peter Zisa and Friends’ Seventh Annual Season of Lights Concert, a special holiday gift to the Portland community. Guitarist Zisa chatted with me about this year’s motivation to continue the concert and what is most important at this time of year.

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What's your motivation this time of year to perform the Season of Lights concert?

Peter Zisa: This year is the seventh annual Season of Lights Free Holiday Concert. The concept initiated with a desire to provide a meaningful holiday concert for families (especially children) that could not afford the extravagant holiday programs.

It is to encourage those to be generous to give to charitable organization that benefited families in crisis and homeless children.

Lastly, it was my hope this concert would be a community celebration - a program which celebrated the full spectrum of culture and faith representative of the Portland metro in the spirit of peace and light.

Included below is the mission statement of the SOL concert. The purpose and goal of the Season of Lights Free Holiday Concert is to provide a meaningful and unifying celebration of the holiday season that all the members of the community can attend and enjoy. The spiritual theme of the program is peace, goodwill, and loving kindness.

Drawing from the four corners of the Portland metro, the program and its featured artists represent a collage of the cultural and faith traditions of the community.

In the spirit of unity and goodwill the program invites all in attendance to give generously to the charities which provide aid and assistance to the needy of the community, and work to foster and advance peaceful relations.

Why is this important?

Zisa: The importance of SOL is the bonds of community it celebrates. This year celebration brings together Jew and Christians, Arabs and Jews, as well as Hindu from India, and the glorious gospel sounds of the Portland Interfaith Gospel Choir.

SOL is a celebration of Love and Light, with the music of Peace and Goodwill. Drawing from the four corners of the Portland metro, the program and featured artists represent a collage of the cultural and faith traditions of the community: Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and Christian.

Appearing with Peter are LaRhonda Steele and the Portland Interfaith Gospel Choir, Ida Rae Cahana, vocalist with Ed Krauss on clarinet, dynamic ensemble Seffarine consisting of singer Lamiae Naki and oud player and flamenco guitarist Nat Hulskamp, Carnatic performers: Vijayan Bhaskaran Nair, percussionist, and Sri Jayaprakash on violin, Yukiko Yamaguchi and LeeAnn McKenna of Thousand Waves.

The program is a celebration of the holiday season that all the members of the community can attend and enjoy. Admission is free, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013.

Donations accepted for the educational program Hand in Hand, a network of integrated schools in Israel, founded by Portland native Lee Gordon that fosters and advances peaceful relations among Jewish, Palestinian, Muslim and Christian students.

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