Rachael Solem


“The Storm is Passing Over
Courage My Soul”
~ Charles Albert Tindley

My Dear Readers~

Early this month I attended a concert of the Mystic Chorale under the direction of Nick Page.  This was his last concert conducting the Mystic Chorale, a chorus he founded in 1990, the same year I started Irving House.  He is retiring, and so am I.    His work has lifted our spirits and brought transformative joy to thousands of us who have sung in the Mystic Chorale or attended his concerts.

Renee Loth of the Boston Globe recently captured some of the sense of this amazing man, Nick Page and his wonderful legacy. Here is what Nick had to say about singing:

“Singing is a deeply spiritual experience because you are connecting to the universe, and that’s not just a metaphor.  Einstein said that atoms are made up of resonance; when one atom vibrates, the atoms of the universe vibrate. It’s a physical feeling but also a consciousness.”

The above quote is from the first song on the program.  It speaks to the release of tension,  perhaps the surviving of crisis, or torment, most of us have been feeling in recent weeks. and months and maybe years.  In the repetition of that sentence, “The storm is passing over,” sung by a chorus of fifty strong, I began to feel the passing of a wild and terrible collection of events.

Storms will return.  The skies will cloud  up again.  But just now, in this moment, we can take a breath, smile at each other, feel the calm and gather our courage for whatever else is to come.

If you have a chance to sing, alone, in a chorus, in some cozy living room or out in the night air, raise your voice!  It’s good for your health.

We all wish the simple delights for you all, wherever you are~


At Irving House, we have again been able to share the benefits of a good year with our employees.  We also decided it was time to hold our holiday party again as it has been three years since we last gathered to share food and good cheer.  We invited all the employees who were with us in 2020, some of whom have moved on to retirement or other work. This included employees of Harding House, and it was lovely to see them again!  Here are some of us who shared the joy.

Want to see the public art of Cambridge?

Follow the bike tour  produced by the Cambridge Arts Council.

And oh! my goodness!

The third annual Harvard Square Poetry Stroll
is on now through New Year’s Day.

Hasty Pudding Theatricals is a great way to cozy up for a winter break.

This year’s show, “Cosmic Relief” runs from 2/2-3/2/2023

And, as always, REVELS is offering us a way to welcome the new year.

This year’s Revels, on stage at Sanders Theatre through 12/28, celebrates
our nation of immigrants, as most of us are.
This seems particularly apropos now, as we struggle with our non-system
of welcoming strangers to our country.