Monday, October 25, 2010

Christmas is finally here!

Each year for the last 20+ I've sung in a fabulous ensemble at Christmas time. Back then, I organized my own such ensembles, generally smaller, to double the fun during the season, but this one remains as the jewel.

One year I counted exactly nine groups I was with, seven or eight of them being my own.

Sadly, with being too busy and losing all my singing friends to their own busy-ness or generally to growing up, graduating from BYU and moving on with their lives, I've not organized choral groups or sung much in long years with this one exception.

Thus, my vocal abilities, which were never great anyway, have sunk to the point where I must resurrect them each October for use at this one concert in December plus helping out at St. Mary's on Christmas Eve (always a distinct pleasure). I have to work myself through the stage of fits of coughing after Saturday morning's hour and a half practice and mastering the unwelcome vibrato that has beset me in my later years. And, I have to re-deepen my bass in order to sing the low notes I've always reveled in.

This year, outside the addition of a piece we've never done (though I used to do it when I was ward choir director), we sing again a selection of old favorites, see my notes for Music for the Christmas Season. With everyone getting a web-capable hand-held device like an iPhone, I've begun in recent years to offer the entire program with copious notes. (This year's are only just begun, so there is a lot of construction detritus on the page as yet.)

Just now, I'm about to return to some SQL work I've begun, but I'm listening to Mannheim Steamroller's "blue" album, A Fresh Aire Christmas. It's nice to get to the point where listening to Christmas music doesn't get me Julene's evil eye (without which I'd probably listen to it year 'round).

Next up will be Chip Davis' "brown" and "red" albums, then Kurt Bestor's few and probably even that old Carpenters' album. This is only a warm up for serious stuff: I've got all of the Cambridge Singers' albums and the Medieval and Renaissance albums done by Joel Cohen(*) and the Boston Camarata. More still.

I'm just a Christmas-y kind of guy.

(* Yup, for real!)

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