Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fa La La La La

Pop Quiz:  Fill in the blank.  "Tis the season to be ____________________"

I imagine that nearly everyone would say "jolly" and then a few of you might throw in the "fa la la's" for good measure.  And believe me, I think it's a good thing.  Somebody needs to be jolly.  Somebody's halls need to be fully decked with boughs of holly.  They need to have pine cones and holly berries, chestnuts roasting on an open fire, and on every street corner they need to hear silver bells.  Somebody needs to do this because I simply don't have the time.

Thanksgiving is over and between now and December 25th it's high holy days for musicians.  The folders of music are set and the performing duds are washed, pressed and hung up, ready for service.  The list of gigs is longer than the Black Friday line at Best Buy, and we have gassed up the car so we can race over the river and through the woods to sing a holiday party at Grandmother's house.

If. Only.

Tomorrow the gig taxi leaves at 6:00.  That's AM. And it's not for me, it's for the teenager.  Fortunately she knows her music, but as for performing duds, I told her she better hang things up, because if they were laying down somewhere, the last thing she would want to discover at 5:15am was a lovely hairball courtesy of the cats.  Tomorrow's fun includes the breakfast gig, school (work for me), a lesson, dash home to change into performance black, an "Oh Holy Night" for a memorial service, catching the end of a rehearsal, having another a brief rehearsal, then running home for homework (dishes and grading papers for me), intense music memorization and collapsing in bed.  Hello December 1st.  Glad to see you once again.

For the next three weeks, our lives will be a variation on that theme.  But you know what?  I'm actually not complaining.  Or if I am (and I'm really not), I don't really mean it.  Because as crazy busy as we get at this time of year, we actually wouldn't have it any other way.  We love to sing.  We love programs and services and chances to share this gift of music and portion of ourselves.  So when you hear us muttering about where we need to be when, worrying about our instrument, living in our performance clothes, having too many cookies and cups of punch, organizing and coordinating our calendar daily, and executing each day with military precision, it's OK.  We just need to talk through it to make sure we're where we need to be when we need to be with what we need to perform.  We're always grateful for December 26th, because the season grinds to a halt as quickly as it began, but I guarantee you, come next fall, we're anxiously awaiting the next invitation to join in the reindeer games.

We simply like to make music anywhere and everywhere we can,
and we wouldn't have it any other way.

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