This is from an introduction to a Christmas music book that I have called ‘A Merry Christmas with Peter Duchin’. His father was like himself, a performer, and he writes this about him.
“My father loved Christmas music and he especially enjoyed improvising on choral arrangements which he found in the hymnbook. These simple improvisations taught me some very important things about music, indeed about any of the arts, though I was totally unaware of it at the time. One was, certainly, that the music of Christmas was pretty, melodic, and memorable and, more, that it could be played in may different ways. But I think much more importantly, he demonstrated by his improvisations that this music was living music, not music up on a pedestal, untouchable because of its religious origins and historical background. He showed it to be music from and of the people ~ to be played and sung joyously and openly. ”