Friday, December 18, 2009

Silent Night

Before Advent already, a colleague of Yvon's called me to list a bunch of musical Christmas events that I might want to attend. There was a great mix of them, from R&B Christmases, fundraising for homeless people, to choral events. He knows I love the choral events. I dutifully and hopefully wrote them all over our calendar on the fridge.

One by one I crossed them off and replaced them with our own events. Kids' rehearsals, concerts, bake sales and whatever we fill our lives with.

But today I managed to fit one event in. It was Christmas carolling in the Winspear Centre, led by the Christmas Bureau chorus of 250 people.

It had many things going for it.
  1. It was free. Well, actually I paid for the LRT, donated to a violin-playing busker in the station to encourage live music there, and then donated to the Christmas Bureau. But I didn't have to.
  2. It was in the Winspear. I love the Winspear.
  3. I got to sing along. If there's anything I want to increase in my life, it is singing. What a great way to get into the Christmas spirit.
Photography is discouraged, but I took it to be a recommendation rather than a rule. You need to see what this facility looks like. I did this only for your sake.

It was awesome. No matter where you sit in the Winspear you can see and hear everything well.

Do you see that tiny guy beside the organ? That's our church organist. Without him today, pages would not have been turned. I suspect his role was bigger than that because he is in marketing with the symphony, but page-turning was his public role today.

The organ is always a highlight. It sounds beautiful, but it also looks great. I love those curly bits on the tops of the pipes.

I love those little horizontal pipes. Is that just for the show? If I were designing the organ those would be the trumpet and trombone stops. Maybe there are no trombone stops, but there should be and they should be placed horizontally like these. And clarinet stops should not be placed in front of them to recieve liquid from their spit valves. Hmm, maybe that's not relevant in an organ.
Anyway, the highlight for me today was Silent Night. In the second verse a soprano behind me started singing a beautiful, unrehearsed descant. It wasn't planned by the choral group. Just a beautiful voice in the audience who decided to share her gift. Normally I sing the alto part, but once she started, I just closed me eyes and listened. It was really, really beautiful. They should have stopped the event after that one verse so that I could go home replaying it in my mind.
It will be live broadcast on CBC Radio 2 on Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m. if you want to hear me and 999 of my closest friends singing our hearts out. I won't be up yet, but I've already heard it once anyway.
Back to Christmas presents...
All year I've been making these pencil case/notebook things for friends. I think almost all little girls under the age of 11 in our daily lives have one.
Except Alice! I can't believe she got missed, but she's getting one for Christmas. And it's the best one yet. I think I've got the design solidified now that I've probably sewn my last one.
I think I've probably shared the last of my handmade gifts. I'll have a couple more after Christmas because they are for Yvon and he's still reading this. I've got to keep a couple of surprises for him!

1 comment:

Coralee said...

oooh, I love the winspear! I got to go to a free concert there a few years back, too - though it wasn't at Christmas. Love the new artist case and all your lovely handmade goods! I've been sick, so I have some cramming to do this week. I am determined, though.