A colleague forwarded a youtube video to me and I've just watched it. Youtube has videos on and for everything under the sun - some good, some not so good, and some - well - horrid. But THIS is so worth the 5 minutes it will take you to watch it.
I don't know a lot about the background but apparently there's an organization - the Knight's Foundation - that has committed to inspire 1000 Acts of Culture across the United States over the next three years - a small variation of the random acts of kindness idea, but in this case it was both culture and kind!
This was one amazing flash event!
The Opera Company of Philadelphia (some 600 voices) gathered at Macy's Department Store - they were dispersed through the LARGE crowd - and at precisely 12 noon on October 30, accompanied by the largest pipe organ in the world, they sang Handel's Hallelujah Chorus. The shoppers - the hordes of them - stopped what they were doing (for the most part) to appreciate this spontaneous concert - to marvel at the acoustical magnificence of this department store, temporarily transformed into a cathedral. Cameras and cell phones came out in an effort to "capture" the moment. I for one am sure glad that this event was video taped and posted on youtube.
I sat at my kitchen table with tears pouring down my cheeks, not only because of the beauty of Handel's masterpiece, but because of the profound way that this "performance" reminds me that it is ALL holy ground... Even Macy's Department Store, an icon of consumerism, can host another kind of worship.
Sometimes we are so intent on our other activities - the day to day tasks, large and small - that we forget that there IS a Holy God and that wherever our feet might take us, is holy space, despite surface appearances.
You can see the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wp_RHnQ-jgU.
THANK YOU Opera Company of Philadelphia and Knight Foundation!!!!
If you're interested in reading more about the 1000 Random Acts of Culture initiative, check out http://www.knightarts.org/random-acts-of-culture.