Vanessa Williams at the SF Symphony Holiday Soul Concert

THE BEAUTIFUL AND MULTI-TALENTED VANESSA WILLIAMS SITS IN WITH THE  SF SYMPHONY FOR A MAGICAL NIGHT OF MUSIC.

By Susan Vanasco-Howell

THE BEAUTIFUL AND MULTI-TALENTED VANESSA WILLIAMS SITS IN WITH THE SF SYMPHONY FOR A MAGICAL NIGHT OF MUSIC.

By Susan Vanasco-Howell

There is something special about holiday season concerts, especially in San Francisco and this night was no exception, including the cold breeze that hit us when we stepped out of our uber.  On Saturday December 8, the Davies Symphony Hall came to life once again looking as impressive as always.  As we walked in you could feel the excitement brewing.  Vanessa Williams has worn many hats throughout her career from an unfortunate scandalous reign as Miss America to lead actress to highly acclaimed singer.  Just to give you an idea of some of her musical she has sold millions of albums worldwide and has achieved acclaim as an actress on stage, in film, and on television. Her albums The Right StuffThe Comfort Zone, and The Sweetest Days earned multiple Grammy nominations and have yielded such classic hits as “Save the Best for Last,” “Dreamin,” “Work to Do,” “Love Is,” the Academy Award-winning single “Colors of the Wind,” from Disney’s Pocahontas. Her recordings also include the holiday albums Star Bright and Silver & GoldVanessa Williams Greatest Hits: The First Ten

YearsEverlasting Love; and The Real Thing, which garnered her a NAACP nomination for Outstanding Jazz Artist.   

The bell rang and we rushed to her seats, as we knew we were in for an amazing night and didn’t want to miss one moment.  Vanessa took the stage as beautiful as ever and everyone just stood, myself included to give welcome to this incredible diva.  Under the hands of William Eddins and Choir Master Terrance Kelly, vocalist Vanessa Williams entertained the audience for the holidays with her angelic yet strong voice backed by Oakland’s Interfaith Gospel Choir. The holiday spirit was brought to life by songs we hear at church that bring us closer to God and Grace. It felt like the cherry on top of the homemade cake for the holidays as she lifted the audience’s energy and took us to the spirit of good thoughts and good vibes. 

There was too the reminder of hard times that slaves had in the lyrics “Lord how come me?” and “No freedom here Lord”. The despair of enduring cruelty from people was clear through her powerful words that resonated in the aisles. The reality that people cause pain to other people is hard to ignore, even more so as it continues in may different forms today, as racism and ignorance is something that is felt amongst many people of different colors.   

This powerful performance and her graceful voice gave us a feeling of gratitude to kindness that should always be shared.  The experience was uplifting, magnificent and of course the symphony was just perfect, every note, every section.  As we left, you could hear the chitter chatter amongst fans, “Wasn’t she great?”  Yes she was! 

For more info on  SF Symphony & tickets go to:  www.sfymphony.org