13 December 2015

Christmas Carols

I love when we begin to sing Christmas hymns in church and it is always a treat to watch the Christmas Devotional Broadcast the first Sunday of December and hear the beautiful music by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. If you missed it, you can still watch the recording here. Enjoy "The Carol of the Bells" one of my favourites!

Today is a popular Sunday for evening Christmas Music Concerts and I know there were a few happening here in Calgary. I attended our Stake Concert after joining Jill and Ingrid and guests for a very yummy dinner. There were 14 musical numbers not counting the congregational singing. Fantastic selections - two performances with strings, one piece on the piano, solo or small group numbers accompanied by piano or guitar, and 5 choir numbers from 4 different choirs.

Some old favourites in the program - Elder Linford singing "O Little Town of Bethlehem", two trios with "Go Tell It On the Mountain" and "Do You Have Room?", an operatic version of "Bring a Torch, Jeanette Isabella", and the Fourth Ward Choir singing "O Holy Night" and inviting the congregation to join in for the final verse - powerful!  The new favourites included two I've never heard before - a traditional Scottish/Gaelic number called "Saviour's Lullaby" which the YSA Choir sang and  a ragtime piano piece called "Graceful Ghost Rag" (mis-titled in the program) played by Jack Liu. Maybe not the most seasonal of pieces but so much fun. Here's a version to listen to.

When we go out to deliver plates of cookies this week with the youth, I hope I have a car that isn't afraid of a little carolling to go along with the cookies but I'll have to wait and see on that. A big part of Christmas is the music and tonight was a perfect way to enjoy the spirit of the season. Even if I haven't decorated yet, I can still fill my home with Christmas music.

If I were in Salt Lake this coming week, I would want to attend the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's Christmas concert.  But since I'm not, I can always enjoy last year's concert broadcast on PBS.
Last year's special guests were Santino Fontana and The Muppets from Sesame Street.

Broadcasts are scheduled for Dec 21 at 8pm, Christmas Eve at 8 pm and check local listings for Christmas Day.  Here's a taste from that concert - the finale with We Wish You a Merry Christmas.

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