Acoustic fingerstyle guitarist Ed Gerhard has performed in the Seacoast New Hampshire area during the holiday season every year for the past 33 years. For most of those years, “Ed Gerhard’s Annual Christmas Guitar Concert” has been held in the beautiful sanctuary of the Unitarian Universalist Church on State Street in downtown Portsmouth.
During the late 1990’s – early 2000’s, Ed shared the stage at his Christmas Guitar Concerts with the British guitarist/singer/songwriter Martin Simpson.
My daughter and I attended several of those “Ed & Marty” shows, making it our Christmas tradition throughout her high school years. Those truly magical evenings have remained cherished holiday memories for both of us ever since.
Well, tonight – Saturday, December 19, 2015 – another precious holiday memory was made.
My daughter’s surprise early Christmas present to me was dinner together in Portsmouth and tickets for us to go to Ed’s Christmas Guitar Concert!
What an evening it was!
We enjoyed a delicious, conversation-filled meal at The Rosa on State Street and made it to the church in time to get fourth row seats.
Ed did the concert all by himself this year. The set list featured many of his outstanding arrangements of well-known Christmas classics as well as a collection of Ed’s original pieces, his equally-excellent arrangements of several John Lennon/Beatles’ songs and even a rendition of “House of the Rising Sun.” We were quite pleased that Ed also played several of our old favorites including “In The Bleak Midwinter” and “The Water Is Wide.”
Just as in all the concerts we went to way back when, tonight’s concert ended with Ed playing his arrangement of “Silent Night” and my daughter and I adding our voices as the entire audience joined in to quietly sing the best-known first verse.
Pure Christmas magic.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, my daughter.
Here’s Ed to add a little magic to your holiday.
Go ahead, sing along!
Yes, truly a Seacoast tradition.