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21 December 2016 @ 08:57 pm
The Christmas Spirit!  
It’s been a busy week, damn. Wednesday I went to three back-to-back appointments, Thursday - PT, Friday - Sis’ office party, Saturday - church concert and Sunday - Rogue One. I also spent all weekend waiting for news about test results and boy, doctors need to work on their bedside manners - more on that at a later date.

Let’s talk about the Christmas concert! Last year my sister really wanted to go to her church’s Christmas concert, which was to raise money for the local food pantry, and since she knows the one thing I do miss about going to church is the music, she asked me to go, as you may remember. It was right smack-dab during those first awful months of Mom having shoulder surgery/multiple heart-attacks/heart surgery and we just needed a breather in the middle of all that to enjoy the season and have it actually feel like Christmas. Now this year we are far less stressed than last, but even the typical Christmas madness can feel like too much, so it was nice to have a minute to let it just be “Christmas”, you know?


Every year they do a few parody type songs. This year it was “Can’t Stop From Eating” done to the tune of “Don’t Stop Believing” about Christmas dinner, “Staying Inside” done to the tune of “Staying Alive” about how cold it is outside and an absolutely stunning rendition of Adele’s Hello that was basically, ‘hello it’s me I’m calling to say that I’m bringing my boyfriend home to the meet the family’, like basically the woes of bringing a signif-other home for the holidays. The young lady who sang it is only 20 and she gave Adele a run for her money. I will say their lead lady doesn’t have a stunning voice so much, but she is definitely the ‘host’, she has all the personality. But this young girl, just wow. She’s been in the group (with her twin brother who plays the trombone) since she was 14. They also had an older lady who blew me away with her Chestnuts Roasting rendition.

And the whole group did a fantastic version of a Pentatonix song, “Mary, Did You Know?” where they turned off the lights and just held candles and it was unbelievably moving. They also did Little Drummer Boy with a drum solo in the middle that the whole group joined in on - bongos, snares, drums and uh ‘clackers’, but their drummer just sold it, like damn. I love a good drum solo. They also did Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24 which is amazing to see done live. They brought it home and just watching each instrument come in, one after the other, was amazing. They finished out with Hark the Herald Angels, which is my absolutely favorite religious Christmas song. They did an interesting thing with it where they started out slow and soft and choir like, and then upped the speed and rocked it out, and then slowed down again at the end. That is one of my favs to play on the keyboard but I can never decide if I like it better slow or fast, but from now on, I’m going to play it like that! Then they got a standing ovation, so they came back on and did Home For The Holidays.

It was fun and funny and people clapped along and some parts of it were just so moving. They made some remarks that have us wondering if this is the last year they will be doing it, but I hope not, because I have enjoyed going these last few years. Sis says if they don’t do it next year, we’ll find something else, because we really do need that time-out to find the holiday spirit. And find it we did!
 
 
 
Shirebound: Snowy house - Casey28shirebound on December 22nd, 2016 02:46 am (UTC)
I'm so glad you took a getaway/breather when you really needed one.

I don't know why more renditions of "Drummer Boy" don't have drum solos! That makes so much sense. That song always gives me chills.

*hugs to you and sis*
dodger_sister: musicdodger_sister on March 9th, 2017 11:50 pm (UTC)
I don't know why more renditions of "Drummer Boy" don't have drum solos! That makes so much sense. That song always gives me chills.

IKR? The one I saw this Christmas was like ten different people on ten different types of drums/drum-like instruments and they joined in, one at a time, until it hit this amazing crescendo with ten drums all in it together. It was quite moving!
crucis01crucis01 on December 22nd, 2016 03:08 am (UTC)
Glad you found it sweetie! This time of year can be so stressful in so many ways for so many people. I'm glad you found your joy! If I don't 'talk' to you before the holidays, have a Merry Christmas and fantastic New Year! HUGS to you and yours
dodger_sister: holiday 2dodger_sister on March 9th, 2017 11:52 pm (UTC)
This time of year can be so stressful in so many ways for so many people. I'm glad you found your joy! If I don't 'talk' to you before the holidays, have a Merry Christmas

I think it is beyond important to take a breather in the middle of the hectic holiday season, for sure. I really hope they do the food pantry concert again next year - it's a fun night for a good cause!
Kate: starsceitfianna on December 22nd, 2016 04:45 am (UTC)
That sounds amazing. Live music or theater is magical, always and especially this time of year. I love that you've seen some of these performers grow. At some point, there will be things in the mail headed your way. *waves hands* Its been a year so they will get there with lots of love.
dodger_sister: musicdodger_sister on March 9th, 2017 11:55 pm (UTC)
Live music or theater is magical, always and especially this time of year. I love that you've seen some of these performers grow

It really has been amazing to see this group really form together and hit their stride, not to mention individually. The older woman in the group has always been a backup singer and they must have been trying for years to get her to solo. This past year when they finally did, she just blew it away. You could tell she was nervous to solo, but watching her confidence grow enough to get to the point where she was willing to stand on that stage alone was a beautiful thing to witness.

And hey, guess what? Hamilton is coming to the Wharton center in Lansing next year! We are so going!
Jo Ann: Cmas: Cat group singingyeuxdebleu on December 25th, 2016 01:37 am (UTC)
Your description of the Christmas concert was wonderful. They must have spent a LOT of time rehearsing. I hope this won't be the last year.

I didn't know you played the piano.

Edited at 2016-12-25 01:38 am (UTC)
dodger_sister: musicdodger_sister on March 10th, 2017 12:02 am (UTC)
Your description of the Christmas concert was wonderful. They must have spent a LOT of time rehearsing. I hope this won't be the last year.

TBH, they can't spend too much time rehearsing since a third of their group are away at college until a week before Christmas. But you would never know to hear them!

I didn't know you played the piano.

I took lessons for about a year and half when I was seven and then another two years when I was 13. So I'm not great, and sometimes I have to amend the chords to fit my tiny arthritic fingers, but I have a keyboard on our sun porch and I have books aimed at kids who have been playing for about two years with lots of Disney and Broadway musical pieces (Beauty and The Beast song is one of my favs to play). So, yeah, I'm not pulling of any Beethoven, but I can read music enough to do some simplified fun stuff!

I can play the harmonica too, took lessons in that for about a year. I can no longer get both hands up to my mouth (the right shoulder is locked up too tight) so I sadly can't play anymore, but over Christmas The Canadian Nephew got a harmonica from my mom and I taught him how to read the music and hold his hands, so I'm passing along my knowledge.

Do you play any instruments?
Jo Ann: Music: E's Grand Piano handsyeuxdebleu on March 11th, 2017 04:02 am (UTC)
Do you play any instruments?

Yes, piano, organ, violin, classical guitar, recorder and flute. I would love to play the harp, banjo and electric guitar, but I'll have to save those for my next life. :-)
Trigger Warning: Lifematchboximpala on January 7th, 2017 03:03 am (UTC)
What a fabulous concert program -- it sounds like a wonderful experience and, as you say, a nice break from the holiday madness.
dodger_sister: holiday 3dodger_sister on March 10th, 2017 12:05 am (UTC)
What a fabulous concert program -- it sounds like a wonderful experience and, as you say, a nice break from the holiday madness.

Taking a breather every Christmas season is an absolute must, I feel.

Sadly, do to political issues stinking up her church, my sister is thinking of leaving. I hope this doesn't mean we can't go to the concerts anymore!

(One of the priests who sings at the concert and has an amazing voice and is such a nice guy, is leading the charge to repeal the LGBTQA rights ordinance our city just got passed and it breaks my heart bc I enjoyed him at the concert so much each year).