Internationally-acclaimed vocalist and Fredericton native Measha Brueggergosman has sung in some of the world’s most prestigious halls, given a Royal Command Performance for Queen Elizabeth II, championed many causes as a good will ambassador, and has appeared in multiple film and television projects.
But she is well aware that she will never usurp her mother’s knack for decorating the house at Christmas. That’s something she made peace with long ago.
“If there was a competition to decide who the best is at Christmas decorating, I’m sure my mother would win, hands down,” the vocalist says with a laugh. “It goes beyond just putting a tree up; she coordinates colours, she has garland running up the staircase banister, the tasteful angel collection, the wrapped empty boxes on the front lawn, the spotlight shining on the Christmas wreath…She is just so seriously wonderful at making the house look beautiful at Christmas. There’s no competing with that.”
Rather than spending inordinate amounts of time putting up and taking decorations down at her house, Measha prefers putting that energy towards other endeavours, such as her holiday concert series, which touches down at Moncton’s Capitol Theatre on Wednesday evening.
She will be performing holiday classics from her album, Christmas, along with songs from her latest release, Songs of Freedom. The latter effort was inspired by Measha’s discovery of her family’s deep history in Canada and the United States, and that her paternal great-grandparents were African Americans who each escaped from slavery in New England colonies during the American Revolution by going to British lines.
“For me, Christmas is so much more than just that one day; it’s an entire season. I like using this time of year to put a show together and go bring music into some of my favourite communities. It’s about helping people maybe turn off the outside world for a couple of hours, allowing them to share in some uplifting music that isn’t being obscured by the sounds of a Tickle Me Elmo toy in some store. I want people to come to the show, take a deep breath and let me entertain them for the time we are together. It costs me nothing to sing music I know and love, which sounds like a selfless act on my part, but it’s actually completely selfish because the audience is affording me the opportunity to sing.”
Earlier this fall, Measha released her first book, Something Is Always On Fire: My Life So Far. Asked what compelled her to issue a memoir at the mid-point of her life rather than waiting another 20 or so years, she says she was determined to share the lessons life has taught her in its first act.
“I’ve been asked that a lot: Why issue a memoir at 40? Well the reason is, my 39th year was the hardest year of my life. A lot has happened in my life, both good and not-so-good, and I wanted to take the opportunity to get it all in print while I’m lucid and can provide that close proximity context that waiting 20 years might not have provided. Time has a way of smoothing rough edges. I didn’t want that for my book.”
What: Measha Brueggergosman
When: Wednesday Dec. 20, 8 p.m.
Where: Capitol Theatre, 811 Main St., Moncton
Tickets are $46. Advance tickets are available at the Capitol Theatre Box Office, by phone (506) 856-4379, and online at www.capitol.nb.ca.