THE TIDINGS, "A Christmas Concert for Troubled Times," is a cantata composed by Paul Van Ness that reflects on a darker side of the Christmas story. Recorded live at the Cabot Theater in Beverly, Massachusetts, the beautiful musical meditation draws from the story in the Book of Matthew. The first Gospel tells how "tidings of comfort and joy" about the birth of Jesus quickly turn to news of devastation. King Herod orders his soldiers to kill all Jewish boys under the age of two, hoping to destroy the child who could grow up to challenge his political power. Warned by an angel, Mary and Joseph flee to Egypt, living as refugees to protect Jesus from the slaughter. In that first Christmas, joy is commingled with grief, fear and struggle. The story of THE TIDINGS, filled with pain as much as promise, strikes a chord with many who have felt deep sorrow. Featuring piano, cello, acoustic guitar and a six-voice chamber choir, the cantata is flanked by new arrangements of traditional carols that revive their poignancy and draw the audience deeper into the mysteries of the Christmas story.