Tuesday, December 05, 2006

'Tis the Season to Be Busy

Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest unless it is December and you happen to be in music ministry! For singers, musicians, and directors, Christmas is the season to be busy!

I launched my singing career at the United States Naval Academy. Even though my major was in mathematics, I practically minored in music between the choir, glee club, small groups, and musicals. All throughout my adult life, I have tried to squeeze in singing here and there and just about everywhere. Every move to a new town presented new opportunities to sing, whether it was the church choir, a choral society, or a symphony chorus. Right now, I am a soprano in the church choir and a trio, a supporting voice in the youth/*young* adult, and soloist when asked to sing at various events around town.

Lately, my mother, born in Nazi Germany, has been speaking about her experience as survivor of a Danish refugee camp. After her speech, I always sing America, the Beautiful to back up her two main points: gratitude for God’s grace in protecting her family and thankfulness that she is now a citizen of a country ripe with freedom.

Last night we had a gig in a little Presbyterian church in a tiny town up the road. Mom’s heartfelt speech spent left many in tears. Because we are in the advent season, I followed up the patriotic song with one verse of two different Christmas carols in German: Ihr Kinderlein Kommet and Stille Nacht. We met some wonderful people who truly appreciated our efforts and gave Mom a gorgeous arrangement of roses. My mother adores roses, and her garden boasts of several varieties. They gave me the beautiful flower arrangement pictured here.

Both children have pleasant singing voices, so we find it easy to incorporate music into our curriculum. Pamela has a very light soprano voice, while David’s voice is now in the tenor range. She is not a sight-reader, but catches on quickly (except for lyrics). David both sight-reads and learns new music easily because he taught himself to play the recorder. They are part of the chorus for our youth/*young* adult Christmas program called City on a Hill. The music is a blend of Christian contemporary music and updated traditional carols. The DVD track has a power point presentation with neat graphics.

On Sunday, we had a rehearsal that lasted nearly two and a half hours! Pamela did fine with practicing parts and singing with the track. By the time they got to blocking, she was overdone. Fortunately, she did stick it out. There were moments I had to humor her and give her some deep pressure squeezes and encourage her. She fussed a bit, but never melted down to the point of having to leave the room.On one of the songs, I swayed with her to give her some vestibular input, which calms her. She agreed to wait if she could sit quietly on her own. That was a great compromise because I needed to learn the choreography. She was very patient, all things considered!

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