November 1st was the Designated Day for listening to Christmas music. I think some of the most beautiful music in the world is Christmas music, and a month is too little time to indulge. I usually start out with Mannheim Steamroller, as electronic as it is, I love it! Their ‘Silent Night’ transports me back to the Paramount Theater in Cedar Rapids, where I sang with the CR Concert Chorale. This was a holiday concert, so I remember a very full and very warm hall. ‘Silent Night’ was sung only by the men, and there are only a few instruments, so everyone else had turned their light off and then you hear the humming of men’s voices. There is an electric violin and it sounded as though it echoed over the hillsides. As it ended, there was a hush and I felt as though we should all get up quietly and go home, because we wouldn’t hear anything more beautiful than this that night. But the moment broke and people clapped and we went on. The song always transports me. At another holiday concert, the principal cellist would read a Dylan Thomas story, with all the voices. He was quite good. In the maestro’s intoduction he would make little jokes and mention that this cellist happened to be a world class wrestler. The third concert we (the chorus) weren’t laughing at his little jokes anymore and the cellist came out to read his story. he took the maestro’s hand and then lifted him up and twirled him over his head!! We screamed and screamed!! When it got quiet again he looked at us and quietly said “gotcha!’ The last concert I did with them was the Messiah in April. while we were practicing with the Symphony in the concert hall, we ended the Hallelujah concert and thunder rolled and rolled! It was amazing!
My dad started taking me to the CR Symphony when I was in the 7th grade. I think Jeannette was about the same age when I passed on that favor. I remember telling her to babysit one nght while Joel and I went, and it was all Russian music and Jnet was in a Russian music phase. I took her to the next concert. lots of fun times.