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Winter’s Night – The TSO Experience

looking back, i don’t really remember when i learned the secret behind santa claus. all i knew was late december was special. presents, food, friends and family all gathered to celebrate life and our faith. i won’t go into details here. we all have our memories of what made these times so special, i know. over the years life can change what is important and growing older pushes those memories further back into an abyss. given the nature of the world lately, celebrating love and friendship seems harder to do. we get lost in that “abyss” as priorities change.

then something happens and everything changes. maybe for one night, maybe longer if you can find a way to hold on.

recently i heard many of my favorite local musicians were gathering to form Winter’s Night, The TSO Experience. now, I’ve never seen the trans siberian orchestra before. i did have an opportunity to photograph them once. however, traffic, construction and the like made me a few minutes late and i missed it. damn it.

i wasn’t going to miss this. it was like a gathering of all the incredible people i’ve met, many just this year. they’ve become a family to me. a “tribe” if you will. i knew many both on and off the stage, and after the show was announced, i could feel it. i knew down deep inside this was going to be something special. a celebration of so many friends, old and new. memories to create in one amazing evening.

the band was hit by the flu bug and the show delayed 6 days. but on december 20th at lava cantina, it happened. the crowd began to gather about a half hour before things started. i was early to hear sound check and that’s when “it” started for me. i knew this was going to be amazing and you could feel it all around you.

now, i seldom go anywhere without my camera and of course it was at my side this night. on this “very christmas night”.

the story began, as many stories do, with narration to setup the next 90 minutes that were about to unfold. what that 90 minutes would bring in many ways is beyond words. for in that 90 minutes, everyone was lifted to a much better place. together. the hugs and the smiles and celebrations were with us all. smiles danced across every face through the entire evening. people you’ve never met were now friends and friends became family.

it was so much like it used to be with these  friends and family celebrating life and our faith. in that 90 minutes nothing else mattered except what was next and we take in the moment.

this very christmas moment; old into the new.

every artist on the stage that night has a long history of success in music and so much more. all of it came out and the positive energy was everywhere. even in the snow that fell as the show carried on. it was another layer of wonder that took to you a moment that doesn’t come along nearly often enough. maybe this is why you cherish it with all your heart when it does, ya know?

as i look around, I see glowing faces watching what i’m watching. i know they’re feeling what i’m feeling. this all star cast of artists brought it together for us to add to our own list of amazing memories in our life. these are the moments we lose ourselves in. we can forget as years come and go, as years often do. maybe that’s what makes times like these so special. a gathering of friends and strangers who became friends by the nights end.

and end, it did. far too soon i know, but the moment itself will carry on. it will remind us of what makes these times so special. the music, our faith; and the friends and family we share it with never often enough.

i believe i got all the names here. from the bottom of my heart and the depths of my holiday memories – thank you all. for on this night, on this night, on this very christmas night, magic and memories came together in a way that i know none of us will ever forget.

The Cast of Winter’s Night – The TSO Experience
Glenn Johnson
Kristy Johnson
Robert Wagner
Phil Scholling
Juergen Horn
HIllary Brandise Leverton
Nick Shovlin
Terry Murphy
Tiffany Belle
David H Houson
Norris Perry
Brian Martini
Jeremy Thornton
Rene B Herrera

Videos from the show:
From the band – Facebook video


More videos from Rog Mahal – see entire videos from playlist in the upper right


and finally – the photos from one amazing and forever memorable evening –

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