Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Carol Countdown: 9 Days to Go!

Admittedly I'm not that well versed on what's popular nowadays. My kids are grown up and living far away. I have a sixth grade student who is quite talkative. She'll tell me about something and I have to plead ignorance. She is always quite amazed that I have know nothing about x, y or z. It used to be easier when the kids were teens, which is a little payback for having to live through three children's adolescence.

Today I took some time and used it in an unexpected way. Looking at YouTube. Someone sent me a link and for about a half hour I just cruised around looking. I gather that Flash Mob has been going on for a few years. I didn't know it was so popular, so many have done it and I didn't know what it was called.

For the uninformed, like I was this morning, a Flash Mob is done in a public place. It starts with one or a few people who dance or sing, usually to a very large boombox accompaniment. As the song progresses, more and more people from the crowd keep joining in the center with the group. Of course, it's all been well-rehearsed but it seems spontaneous. The cool part is seeing the crowd's reaction.

During my cruising I found one that was done in Belgium in a train station. The huge group of people danced to Do-Re-Mi from Sound of Music. It was utterly wonderful. Of course I'm also a big fan of musicals.

The original link someone sent me is tonight's "Carol." It happens in a fast food court in a mall and it is the Hallelujah Chorus.

Many, many years ago, I was asked to join the presentation our Church and community did of Handel's Messiah. I had never sung it before. Even though the kids were pretty young, I committed and went to rehearsals twice a week for a month. We performed it twice in December. After that experience, I was hooked. I truly believe that Handel's Messiah is meant to be sung over being listened to. Or maybe just that you have to be able to sing it (in your correct part, not just singing with whatever part has the main voice) to really appreciate it magnificence.

I'm an alto. Handel loved altos, their warm, cello voices that were full and glowing. After that first time, I started singing the Messiah wherever I could. When we moved, I found a new choir to sing in. I went to numerous Messiah Sing-Alongs. Each year I would sit down around Christmas, put on my CD of the Messiah and sing through the entire thing with it, to be sure I didn't forget my part.

My daughter, also an alto, grew up and started singing with me at my annual CD playing. Soon she knew the alto part. When she was around 14, we sang in our first Messiah choir. What a great experience!

And now, the flash mob of Handel's Messiah.

God Bless.

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