Friday, December 22, 2006

Music of the Season

Some thoughts on Christmas musical concerts:

1. A perfect Christmas Sacrament Meeting in Manhattan.

Attending Sacrament Meeting in Manhattan is like entering another world of church-going. The congregation was almost all 20-something young professionals / graduate students as couples or with small children. The ward choir had to be full of Juliard students or Broadway-level professionals, including concert pianists, celloists, violists, and French hornists... all perfect. It was so perfect, it was almost uncomfortable. I know that the individuals and choir performing were offering their best to the Lord (verses showing off for the glory of themselves - after all this was a Sacrament Meeting) but I was blown away and felt like I should applaud instead of meditate. Don't get me wrong - it was wonderful. I kept thinking of the Jimmy Stewart line in the classic Rear Window (I love that movie) when Grace Kelly (the hottest actress ever) prepares a perfect dinner for him in his wheelchair and he looks up at her in amazement and she wonders what's wrong and he says: "Leeza, it's perfect!" in a disgusted tone.

2. High School Orchestra concert.

Returning home, we attended the high school Orchestra Christmas concert. Now, there is something spiritual that happens when the physics of resonance all come together in perfect harmony - this wasn't one of those moments.:-) However, my daughter's solo was perfection personified (no bias from this father).

3. Tabernacle Choir with Sissel.

The spiritual perfection of a voice of an angel (the International Norwegian singer Sissel) blending with the Tabernacle Choir and Temple Square Orchestra in the Conference Center decked out in the holiday's best - was a spiritual inspiration. It was simply magic!

4. Our ward choir.

Singing in our ward choir has been an embarassment - not that I know how to sing, but that the piece we are performing on Sunday is heavy on a descant of high sopranos - and - well, um... let's just say that we need to encourage the choir director to not select pieces that have anything relying on the sopranos doing more than singing the melody... or not singing at all... (was that too mean?)

5. High School Show Choir concert.

Now this one was fun. My son is in a performing show choir for the high school. They show a lot of spunk and enthusiasm as they dance, wiggle, sing and perform non-stop in an engaging way for 90 minutes of fun!

Because my son had to stay behind after the choir to help the teacher with some behind-the-scenes activities, I remained sitting in the auditorium and watched the open affection of the high school students (performers and friends) who lingered after the concert. It was astounding to watch abundant hugging between girls, guys and girls, and especially guys and guys... a lot of guy-to-guy hugging, and hanging on each other as they'd talk with each other. I realized how much removed I am from their world - but it was fun to observe the open affectionate relationships many of the guys had with each other! I raked my memory bank trying to remember if I had had those guy-to-guy hanging-on-each-other experiences and I can't come up with any! Has it changed that much? What was going on here? Or am I just so consumed by guy-to-guy attention now that I focus in on it and see nothing but this?

My thoughts lingered on what it would be like had I been in high school in such an open display of guy-to-guy affection... I don't know if the world is changing or if I just hope that it is. More thoughts on this later.

Anyway, just some random thoughts - not very well connected... but all the same - part of the Music of the Season!


Loyalist (with defects) said...

my wife and i skipped an extended family get-together last Sunday in order to hear our own wards choir over her parents ward choral attempt. :0

Music is most certainly the gateway to the human soul.

I only wished I could have heard all the wonders you spoke of - they sound absolutly delightful. thanks for sharing.

Beck said...

Thanks for being out there Loyalist. I hope all is well and that you're finding peace with your wife this holiday season.

Music is a big part of the spiritual communication! I've been a part of several choirs where participating in that music has made all the difference.

My prayers are with you...

Merry Christmas.

SG said...

Beck - I didn't get to hear your ward choir or your high school music concert but I did get to hear Sissel - several times. It was one of the most transcendent musical experiences ever! What a treat!