St. Matthew’s Hosts ‘The Alaska Suite’

St Matthew's Episcopal Church, Prosser, WA - Diocese of Spokane
Posted Dec 14, 2022

On December 8, St. Matthew’s in Prosser, WA hosted a performance of  “The Alaska Suite: a Story of Beauty, Loss and Hope”.

The Alaska Suite features a five-piece chamber jazz ensemble performing the original music of Seattle pianist and composer Nelda Swiggett. But this is not just a concert. The performance engages the power of artistic expression — live music, spoken words, images and poetry — to connect audiences deeply and emotionally to the scientific realities of climate change. It has been performed 27 times to date, touching over 1600 people with its message of hope and call to action.

Why Alaska? While the earth has warmed on average about 2°F since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the Arctic is warming nearly twice as fast. The impacts of climate change are significant and alarming in Alaska right now, and this should be a wake up call for all of us. The event features Swiggett (piano), Julian Smedley (violin), Clif Swiggett (trombone), Chris Symer (bass), Adam Kessler (drums) and the poetry of Jill McGrath.

Climate change is fundamentally a science and technology problem, but the arts can drive the human response. Swiggett, a Seattle-area pianist and composer, created “The Alaska Suite” to evoke a response from the heart.