". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmastide Listening

So . . . if you're like me, you went to church on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and now you're looking at four days until the next church service (New Year's Eve). BUT IT'S STILL CHRISTMAS! So while you're waiting for the next opportunity to join your sisters and brothers in Christ in worship, maybe this will help fill in the gap a bit. It's a link to the 7:15 Christmas Eve Lessons and Carols service at my church. I was not able to attend this service. I went to the 5:00 and 11:00 services but needed to take care of things (and people) at home in the interim. I am so sorry I had to miss it. But praise be to God for modern technology, because the podcast is now up and available for my (and your) listening pleasure!

Several of the musicians involved in this service are of a particularly high level of training and skill. Much of the special music was provided by a vocal quartet comprised of the Cantor, two professional caliber female singers who are members of our congregation (one of whom is a trained lyric soprano with a doctorate in voice), and a young man (not a member) who is the star pupil of the aforementioned opera singer. I challenge you to turn the podcast off after listening to that young man (merely 16 years of age) sing the prelude for the service. I don't think you'll be able to. The song ("O Holy Night") is not one of my favorites--I think it is often poorly sung by amateurs or, on the flip side, oversung--with too much belting--by professionals. But I was transfixed by this presentation. I think that young singer--his name is Joshua Blue--is going to be famous some day.

The service opens with the traditional "Once in Royal David's City" and ends with the Willcocks descant on "O Come, All Ye Faithful." In between there are choral stanzas on "Of the Father's Love Begotten," "O Little Town of Bethlehem," "The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came," and "On this Day Earth Shall Ring," plus several special vocal offerings, including "In Dulci Jubilo" and "Gesu Bambino." (Here's a link to the bulletin.)

And, oh yes, there was brass. And they rocked.

So if, as the song goes, you find yourself needing a little Christmas over the next few days, I have just given you one place to find it! And in short order, there should be another link to our 11:00 communion service featuring the adult choir throughout and capped by some soft accordion playing on the final hymn, "Silent Night." I'll let you know when that one's up.

Merry second day of Christmas!

1 comment:

Phillip said...

This service turned out to be the best music I've ever been privileged to be a part of.

The 11:00 servic was beautiful as well, with the choir being particularly commendable on "In the Bleak Midwinter" and "Jesus Christ, the Apple Tree".

Those of you who enjoyed the soprano at Lessons & Carols (Elise B. Calhoon) will enjoy her solo on "In the Bleak Midwinter" at the 11:00 service.

I hope to combine the musical tracks from these two recordings and put them on a CD. This Christmas was truly the highpoint of my work as a cantor in the Church.