Holidays in JP: Local resident composes Christmas cantata

Composer Jim Grant, a longtime Jamaica Plain resident, is back at it again, this time creating a new cantata, “Child of Light: The Christmas Miracle of St. Francis,” that will performed on Dec. 8 at St. John’s Episcopal Church.

The cantata is based off of the story of St. Francis and the first nativity scene of Christmas in Greccio, Italy. Grant traveled to Greccio to do research and read eyewitness accounts of people who felt they had experience the Miracle of the Creche.

“Being there and reading those accounts gave me what I was looking for,” said Grant.

The cantata took Grant two years to research and compose. He said the piece is “classical and traditional, nothing groundbreaking.” Grant said that his philosophy when composing is keep it simple, sacred, and beautiful.

He said he hopes that people who experience the cantata “get a sense of the real joy of what Christmas is about.”

Grant had his opera about Johann Sebastian Bach performed at St. John’s Episcopal Church last year. He pursued writing poetry and studying comparative religion at Temple University. He studied theology at Princeton Theological Seminary, and later got a Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology. He has been a Playwright in Residence at Theater Workshop Boston, where he had four plays produced. Jim Grant is also a fine arts photographer, a graphic artist, and writing a book about the relationship of creativity, healing, and spirituality

“Child of Light: The Christmas Miracle of St. Francis” will be performed by The Nova Cantatae Ensemble as part of the JP Concerts series. It will be on Dec. 8 at 8 p.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 1 Roanoke St. Tickets are available at the door or online at General Admission $20; students and seniors $15.

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