Monday, December 21, 2009

New Things this Christmas

Over the last several days, I've done two new things to celebrate the Christmas season. Actually, these two things are very old, but they were a first for me.

Yesterday, I went with two neighbor friends to see my orchestra's performance of the Messiah. I have seen and heard the Messiah before but not as performed by this orchestra. There are no horn parts in this music, and one thing or other has always kept me from seeing it. Husband's company was the sponsor for yesterday's event, so I thought it would be nice to go—Husband and Eustacia went Christmas shopping.

This event is held in a local church instead of a the usual auditorium, which makes it more intimate. The church, a large Methodist one on the north side of town, is simply but beautifully designed with a pipe organ that makes the front of the sanctuary look classic and traditional. It was a cozy afternoon in the pews with other neighbors sitting in front of us, my vet and his family to the left, and our kids' first piano teacher and some other friends sitting directly behind us. And since my great-great-grandfather was named John Wesley, I felt right at home.

I was delighted but not surprised to hear my orchestra perform Handel's standard so well, and the chorus behind them was just as solid. We've got a cracker jack trumpet player and oboist; and we've got some talented vocal soloists around here who held their own, although there was one who I will not name who sounded a bit elfish, an elf not always on pitch. Still, lovely.

Of course, they didn't perform the entire Messiah because we'd be there all day, but after the shorter version, we all joined in for a carol sing-along, and not just any carol sing-along. Instead of just singing a few traditional carols back to back, we sang to Conductor Eric's composition that incorporated three or four carols, using women's and men's voices in alternating verses. When the men sang, I closed my eyes to take in the robust melody, and it made me happy. Joy to the world.

Well, that was one new experience for me. Now to the other—last Wednesday, I went to my first Las Posadas event. I won't go into what that here because I'm about to link to something that explains it. I went with my friend who teaches Spanish at Small Town high school, and she interpreted for me. I was the only one in the room who did not speak Spanish, but everyone was very welcoming. Some students from the class where I volunteer were there, and they hugged me and seemed so glad to have me there for their particular Christmas event. Wouldn't it be nice if I were to attend next year but without needing an interpreter? We'll see.

All about Las Posadas, here is today's newspaper column. There is a typo in it—my fault—and points if you can find it. Of course, the points don't mean a thing.


kyle@sift said...

Traditions are grand, aren't they? I wish I could have joined you for Las Posados.
The only questionable part of the article I could find was the very last sentence...but I start sentences with and all the time.

Scout said...

Nope, that wasn't it, Kyle. It's earlier in the column. Maybe next year we can go to this thing together. Oh, and I didn't notice anything unusual about Father Matt, but then I only spoke to him for a minute.

Miz Minka said...

Hi Robyn, I really enjoyed your article. What a wonderful tradition; I had never heard of it before!

The typo: long-standing. Always hyphenated.

I don't need points, either. ;)

Scout said...

PAH! Miz Minka, I didn't even notice that one! That makes two, then.

According to some style books, beginning a sentence with And or But is perfectly acceptable.

Miz Minka said...

Oh, DUH... I just found it. A good example of our brains filling in what should be there: ...there is so room in the inn.