Saturday, December 24, 2011

'Twas the Night before Christmas

How's my mental health today?

Does it matter?

Christmas is almost here. Memories of musical celebrations come to mind.

J.S. Bach's Weihnachts (Christmas) Oratorio; The Christmas oriented parts of G.F. Handel's Messiah; these were some of the larger works that I was involved in as a musician. The rush; the euphoria; the spiritual highs; these are memories that don't fade away.

I have been part of performances of Handel's Messiah more times than I can remember. I sang Tenor many times, Bass for a couple performances and played 1st and 2nd violin as well as viola in a variety of performances of this work. To this day the music of Messiah rings in my head when I come across Scripture verses used in the libretto of Messiah.

As a family we did a lot of singing all year round, but the singing at Christmas is what stands out in my memory. Carols sung in both english and german; the candles on the angel chimes burning.

One year was different - I went carolling in a Winnipeg neighbourhood with a group of my fellow students. We wandered from house to house, singing a few carols at each one. The air was crisp but not too cold, everything was white and big snowflakes were softly drifting down from the clouds. It couldn't have been scripted better.

I wonder, will there be any special memories of this year's celebration?

How much music will there be?

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