“Christmas in Japanese Style” Eriko Tokura Murray & Seiko Shimada
7:00 and 8:00 PM Wednesday, December 10, 2014 Main Theater
Japanese performers Eriko Tokura Murray from “7 Sopranos” and Seiko Shimada, vocalist (The Cherry Blossom Festival) will perform songs of Christmas in Japanese style. The program will include the nice surprise of a piano duet of gifted child prodigies. This concert will bring joy and smiles into this Christmas season from far away Japan.
Lords and Ladies of McDonough Choir
7:00 and 8:00 PM Thursday, December 11, 2014 Main Theater
This prize winning McDonough Chamber Choir has performed in a number of venues including the Kennedy Center. Enjoy these talented vocalists as they perform in the madrigal style.
Singing Sensations Youth Choir
7:00 and 8:00 PM Friday, December 12, 2014 Main Theater
The award-winning Singing Sensations Youth Choir, under the direction of Dr. Holly Hood-Mincey, is composed of some 50 students from Baltimore- area public schools. The members range in age from pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. For nine years, this highly sought after group has provided refreshing, energizing and heartwarming performances all over the East Cost, in Canada and Trinidad. Many of these choir members struggle daily with difficult life-situations but the manage to rise above their personal struggles by striving to excel academically, socially and artistically.
Mormon Choir of Washington D.C.
6:00 and 7:00 PM Saturday, December 13, 2014 Main Theater
A festival of lights tradition and now in its 35th year, the Mormon Choir of Washington D.C. has performed to capacity crowds throughout Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. It will present a program of songs of faith befitting the Christmas season.
Jenny Oaks Baker and Friends
6:00, 7:00, 8:00, and 9:00 PM Sunday, December 14, 2014 Main Theater
Grammy nominated, Billboard No. 1 violinist Jenny Oaks Baker will present “Carols of Christmas Past,” featuring Cantori Womens’ Chorus and an orchestra conducted by maestro J. Ernest Green; also featuring special guest: “The Baker Kids.”
“Bright Star” – Rebecca Takemoto and Eugene Summers, Vocalists
6:00, 7:00, and 8:00 PM Monday, December 15, 2014 Main Theater
Returning to Festival of Lights, baritone Gene Summers, mezzo-soprano Rebecca Takemoto and pianist Annalee Whitehead will present a delightful evening of Christmas music. Having performed together for twenty years, the trio will share classical, pop and Jazz vocal duets, including fun audience participation.
Aquia Christmas Festival
6:00, 7:00, and 8:00 PM Tuesday, December 16, 2014 Main Theater
This program will feature a wide variety of Christmas music performed by professional musicians from the D.C. area. A brass quartet (all members of military bands), a choir, soprano Jill Pierce, and violinist Karen Johnson, former concertmaster of the Richmond Symphony, who is featured on Deseret Book’s “Walk Beside Me” album.
Harbor City Music Chorus
6:00, 7:00, and 8:00 PM Wednesday, December 17, 2014 Main Theater
This is an award-winning women’s chorus comprised of 65 members from Anne Arundel and surrounding Maryland counties. Members of the chorus range in age from the mid-twenties to the mid-eighties. The chorus is known for its creative performances and unique song arrangements.
Ukrainian Saint Nicholas Day
6:00, 7:00, and 8:00 PM Thursday, December 18, 2014 Main Theater
Ukrainian Saint Nicholas Day proudly represents their Ukrainian Christmas spirit, traditions, heritage and history going back thousands of years. One legend the thirty member choir and performers will present in the show is that Saint Nicholas, with the love of God, gave Ukraine the gift of “Love to Our Homeland.” Along with traditional Ukrainian carols, special handcrafted costumes and decorations have been created for this premiere performance.
Capitol Carillion Bell Choir
6:00, 7:00, and 8:00 PM Friday, December 19, 2014 Main Theater
This advanced English hand bell ensemble will educate, enlighten, and entertain you through the art of ringing with musical excellence. The choir performs on 82 English hand bells and 82 choir chimes.
McLean Stake Bell Choir
6:00, 7:00, and 8:00 PM Saturday, December 20, 2014 Main Theater
Established three decades ago, this bell choir provides a full variety of instruments, techniques, and repertoire. Under the direction of Gary Fuller it offers captivating soloists and the spoken word.
“A ‘Mary’ Christmas” Broadway Star Sandra Turley
6:00, 7:00, and 8:00 PM Sunday, December 21, 2014 Main Theater
Sandra Turley performed the role of Cosette in Les Miserables on Broadway in New York City. She is currently a recording artist with Deseret Book. Her albums include “Sandra Turley: On Broadway” (2012) and “Inside My Soul” (2014). She is a popular speaker and singer for Deseret Book’s Time Out for Women and Girls events across the country. Sandra and her husband live in the DC area where they are raising 4 incredible (and busy!) children.
Everyone is invited and welcome to attend the 37th Annual Festival of Lights Performances. Tickets are required for concerts. They are free of charge, and will be distributed 90 minutes before each performance.
If you have questions about any of the above events the number to call is 301-587-0144
In 1839, Joseph Smith, first prophet and President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, visited the nation’s capitol with Elias Higbee to seek redress of grievances suffered by Church members in Missouri. The Latter-day Saints were suffering mightily in Missouri, where Governor Lilburn Boggs had issued an Extermination Order against the Mormons. In response, United States President Martin Van Buren reportedly said, “Your cause is just, but I can do nothing for you.” The Saints were eventually driven out of Missouri during a bitter winter and sought refuge in Illinois. They prospered in Nauvoo, their own city, for five years, but then were driven out by persecution and mobs once again, Joseph Smith and his brother having been martyred. As they moved west to the Rocky Mountains, hundreds lost their lives.
Early Church members paid occasional visits to Washington, D.C., as they sought statehood for their newly-established communities in the Great Basin. Church leader Reed Smoot was elected to the United States Senate in 1903, and seated in 1907 after a series of hearings that brought publicity to the Church. In 1933, a large granite chapel was completed in the area. Future Church President Ezra Taft Benson worked in Washington, D.C. as Secretary of Agriculture in the Eisenhower administration, 1953-60. In 1974, a temple was completed in Kensington, Maryland. Ambassadors and diplomats visit the temple’s annual lighting ceremonies during the Christmas holiday, and cultural events and exhibits are held at the Washington, D.C. Temple Visitors’ Center throughout the year.
Late church President Gordon B. Hinckley, along with 26 other religious leaders from across the nation, visited the Capitol after the tragic events of September 11, 2001, and met with U.S. President George W. Bush. Many Mormons serve in the U.S. federal government and live in Washington, D.C.
Within the District of Columbia proper, there are over 2300 Latter-day Saints, with many in outlying areas, and a huge population of young single adults who belong to the Mormon Church, some studying at local universities and others pursuing careers there.
Washington D.C. Temple Trivia
The Washington, D.C. Mormon Temple is the tallest Mormon temple (as of 2011). It has six spires like the Salt Lake Temple, and six ordinance rooms, the only temple outside of Utah to have that many ordinance rooms. It’s a large temple (160,000 square feet) with 14 sealing rooms. The Angel Moroni statue atop the temple is one of only a few that is holding a representation of the gold plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated. The open house for the Washington, D.C. temple (which was held 17 September–2 November 1974) was attended by 758,328 guests including special guest Betty Ford—wife of then-U.S. President Gerald Ford. These tours resulted in over 75,000 missionary referrals.
The temple sits on 52 acres about 10 miles north of the United States Capitol in Kensington, Maryland. A free temple shuttle, funded by donations, is offered to patrons and visitors traveling between the Metro and the Washington D.C. Temple.
On Tuesday, August 23, 2011, a 5.8 earthquake caused “minor damage” to the Washington, D.C., Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. LDS Church spokesman Scott Trotter said the temple’s spires and facade were damaged during the earthquake.
“There was no damage to the temple interior and no injuries were reported,” Trotter said. “The temple remains operational.”
Area resident Douglas Wiggins told the LDS Church News that the tips broke off of four of the temple’s six spires. The tip on one of the remaining two spires was bent.