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Portraits of White
Presented By Messiah University
Friday, December 10th at 7:00pm EST
Online sale ends: 12/10/21 at 7:00pm EST
Parmer Hall
One University Avenue
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
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Portraits of White

Now in its eighth year, the annual Portraits of White Christmas show has become a holiday favorite. The show has the reputation of being unlike any Christmas concert you’ve ever experienced! 

Singer-songwriter and pianist Frances Drost, along with other professional musicians from the South Central Pennsylvania region, offer hope during the holidays by combining humor, stories and inspiring music. 

This year’s lineup will include the return of past Portraits of White musicians Wayne Fox, piano; Allen Roth, electric and string bass; David Zygmunt, drums; George Clements, percussion; Doug Cook, saxophone, flute, and Tim Spirk; vocals. 

Portraits of White will welcome a new guest to the stage this year: American jazz and big band trumpeter Dave Stahl, known mainly for his lead trumpet work with the bands of Buddy Rich, Woody Herman and Liza Minnelli

Here’s the story behind the show, as Frances tells it ...

I’m a professional singer-songwriter from Newville, Pennsylvania, who almost gave up on Christmas. Fortunately, Christmas didn’t give up on me. I encounter others who have felt this way, too ... or perhaps still do. My solution was to create a Christmas experience in which people could enjoy a professional show with a hometown feel.

Portraits of White had its debut in 2014 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, with a sold-out show. 

As a young girl, our family tragically lost two brothers, and I never learned how to process the grief our family experienced. It always seemed especially tough at Christmas.

My brother Nathan drowned in our farm pond a few days after his second birthday, and another brother, Doug, was killed at age 26 in a tractor accident on a farm where he worked. I was 7 when the pastor came to our farmhouse to tell my mother she had lost her firstborn son. That front-porch scene is forever etched in my mind.

As I got older, my struggle with sadness during the holidays only grew stronger. So in 1999, I decided to “skip Christmas” and ask God to reveal why I had such a hard time with the holiday season. 

Months of quiet reflection that year began to reveal deep-seated, unprocessed grief. As I unwrapped this concealed package of heaviness, I was surprised to discover how far down I had been able to stuff something in my little soul, only to have it show up later in life in seemingly unrelated ways. 

Through tears, quietness, prayer, and a re-examining of the original Nativity story, I started a healing journey. I found solace in the fact that there were threads of sorrow in the story of the Christ child. I had never noticed that until I viewed it through my own window of sadness. Once I identified the grief, then it seemed that joy was able to start growing.

I started writing songs about my journey around the holidays and grief. Later, the story turned into an album—an audio journal of sorts. On the flip side of sadness, I also have a quirky side and a childlike love for snow that shows up in my songwriting. So the title track of my Christmas album, Portraits of White, seemed like the best title for my thoughts reflecting the winter seasons of my life, both the sad and the fun.

In fact, I wrote the title track while I was driving to Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, on Route 997. The fluffy snow was blowing and drifting across the road and painting “portraits of white” throughout the Cumberland Valley. Just like the dormant seeds that sprout after the blanket of cold winter snow has lifted, life sprung from the long, hard winter of my disenchantment with Christmas, and I found hope. 

With a vision to share my story and music with others who may have been touched by loss, I stepped out to follow my dream of putting together a professional concert each December. This will be the eighth year for this BIG dream, and every year is different!

Every year, the creative team and I make a special effort to ensure that the music for Portraits of White is unique and entertaining, to maintain the nostalgic feel of Christmas while presenting music in a way that is new and creative but still leaves you with the warm, fuzzy Christmas feeling you expect during the holidays.

I love offering hope over the holidays by sharing stories, humor and great music. This concert contains all of those elements and more! I’d love to have you and your family make this concert a family tradition.

Presented By

Event starts at 7:00pm
Doors open at 6:00pm

First Balcony: $30.00
Orchestra: $40.00
Upper Balcony: $30.00
Orchestra Wing: $40.00

Parmer Hall<br> One University Avenue<br> Mechanicsburg, 17055


717-696-6036, Opt #1


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