Thousands of people in Washington DC have been singing traditional Christmas carols this week, courtesy of Keith Getty OBE and Kristyn Getty, the preeminent writers and performers of modern hymns including In Christ Alone.
In June this year, Keith was honoured as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The award, which commemorates Getty's contribution to 'Music and Modern Hymn Writing,' marked the first occasion that the award has been given to an individual involved in the world of contemporary church music.
On Tuesday night, Keith and Kristyn performed for Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen, as well as their guests, at a holiday reception at the Vice President's residence. The Gettys, along with some of their touring band, performed their modern hymns and led the group in traditional carol singing.
On Wednesday night, Keith and Kristyn brought their annual Christmas tour to The John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Opera House for a sold-out performance of Sing! An Irish Christmas. Together with special guests including classical violinist David Kim and jazz bassist John Patitucci, the Gettys again led the capacity-crowd of thousands – including Vice President Pence and his wife again – in the singing of traditional carols.
Earlier this year, the duo launched a major global initiative named, Sing!, to revive the essential act of congregational singing. This initiative coincides with the 500th anniversary year of the Reformation, in which Martin Luther placed a strong emphasis on singing hymns together.
Sing! An Irish Christmas is currently touring 15 cities across the US, making stops at some of the best-known concert venues, including Washington DC (The John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Opera House), New York City (Carnegie Hall), Atlanta (The Fox Theatre), Cleveland (KeyBank State Theatre), Colorado Springs (Broadmoor Hotel), and more.
Sing! An Irish Christmas caps a wonderful 2017 for the Gettys. Following the OBE award, the Gettys published their first book, Sing! – How and Why We Worship (B&H Publishing Group), and also hosted a Sing! conference in Nashvillle in September that was attended by thousands from around the world and featured a 5,000-person hymn-sing at the famed Grand Ole Opry House.