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What are your fond Christmas/holiday music memories
#3052243 12/02/20 11:02 PM
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Two moments that stand out in my childhood: first was going on a fieldtrip to the Hollywood Bowl to view the Nutcracker as a 1st or 2nd grader. Another was of playing Silent Night on the Keyboard for a 1st grade play. These were formative moments in my life of music. What memorable moments do you have surrounding Handel's Messiah, or the Nutcracker, or some other Christmas/holiday classics. Even if you're not religious, and even if you're jaded with the world like I am, I'm sure you have these moments in your lives. I will leave you with two of my favorite modern Christmas songs. First is a song from the great Christmas album by the group Pentatonix. Second is Josh Groban's arrangement of It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrz_zgsMB2s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiSqct-Ei80

Re: What are your fond Christmas/holiday music memories
iamandrew3 #3052249 12/02/20 11:26 PM
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Pentatonix lol

Re: What are your fond Christmas/holiday music memories
iamandrew3 #3052254 12/03/20 12:11 AM
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Just my opinion of course: Pop singers shouldn't sing Christmas hymns and carols, unsuccessfully trying to make a pop tune out of a choir carol.

Fond memories? None that come to mind.

Regards,

Last edited by BruceD; 12/03/20 12:17 AM.

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Re: What are your fond Christmas/holiday music memories
BruceD #3052258 12/03/20 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Just my opinion of course: Pop singers shouldn't sing Christmas hymns and carols, unsuccessfully trying to make a pop tune out of a choir carol.

Fond memories? None that come to mind.

Regards,

You're a fun one!

Re: What are your fond Christmas/holiday music memories
iamandrew3 #3052268 12/03/20 01:10 AM
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I am in a music group. The last concert we ended with the popular Leroy Anderson piece "Sleigh Ride". And we played "12 Days of Christmas" as the encore piece in church. The audience was divided in sections and took turns standing up and sing their parts in sequence. It's a fun piece to play and at the same time we get the audience to participate.




This year the church where we performed is in lockdown. We planned a virtual party where we'd see each other through our computer screens.

Re: What are your fond Christmas/holiday music memories
thepianoplayer416 #3052330 12/03/20 06:55 AM
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That's terrific thepianoplayer416! Way to spread holiday cheer. I've done the Twelve Days of Christmas singalong at the church I worked at a couple years ago; it's a lot of fun. Thanks for sharing!

Re: What are your fond Christmas/holiday music memories
iamandrew3 #3052334 12/03/20 07:16 AM
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Even though (or maybe because) I'm an atheist, Christmas is my favorite time of the year ever since I moved to the West as a teenager, principally because of the music.

I joined the school Chapel Choir, and of course Christmas was the busiest time for us, having to learn all the carols for the annual Service of Lessons & Carols (modelled on King's College Choir, Cambridge), plus other Christmas music, usually including chorales and choruses from Bach's Christmas Oratorio and Handel's Messiah.

Like this lovely chorale Brich an, o schönes Morgenlicht from Part 2 of Bach's Weihnachts-Oratorium:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7E0jM0F3M8

After my first school Christmas concert and service, the boarding school closed for two weeks, and I spent the holidays sharing a house with four other students. The surroundings were under two feet of snow (my first encounter with the white stuff), so in between building snow-people (of indeterminate sex and species) and having snow fights, I was listening non-stop to the complete Weihnachts-Oratorium, Messiah, Saint-Saëns's Oratorio de Noël and Britten's A Ceremony of Carols - all from BBC radio broadcasts, in my room. Sheer bliss! The other students thought I was really odd (none of them were in the choir, nor into classical music), but that didn't matter, as I'd always known I was odd wink .

In my final year at the high school, I had the most memorable Christmas service - the choir sounded the best it had ever sounded (not just according to me, but also in our choirmaster's opinion), the pure-toned girl soprano who sang the solo opening verse of Once in Royal David's City was stunning (she subsequently went to a music conservatoire and eventually became a member of one of the professional British choirs specializing in early music and Baroque), and there were a few exceptional boy trebles joining the sopranos, giving a fresh sound to the top line, and my (baritone) voice had matured by then cool.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHLy6bu955M

Fast forward several decades (during which I sang intermittently in various choirs), and a few years ago, I was called upon (at less than 24 hours' notice) to replace an indisposed piano accompanist for the annual Christmas concert in a hospital, where the audience got to choose what they wanted to sing from a long list when they arrived. I brought my Carols for Choirs books, hoping they would choose traditional carols, so I could easily sight-read the four-part choral/organ parts in the books, but instead, most of their selections were of pop songs, a few of which had only a passing reference to Christmas.....and most of which I'd never heard before. With no idea of how the songs were meant to go, and reading mostly from the fake books provided by the organizer, I had to improvise on the spot, asking the audience to sing the first line a cappella after I played the first chord and the melodic line, so that I could get an idea of how fast the song was meant to be, and whether it was rhythmic & jaunty or ballad-like. Then we started again from the beginning, with my improvised accompaniment based on what I thought was appropriate to the song. Apparently, some of my accompaniments took the audience by surprise (they'd never heard such a version before and will probably never hear it again wink ), but everyone had a great time and there were plenty of laughs. Someone told me afterwards that I turned some of the songs into classical music (with the rolling arpeggios I threw in), which I took as a compliment grin.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: What are your fond Christmas/holiday music memories
iamandrew3 #3052384 12/03/20 10:03 AM
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I’m not Christian but I have fond memories of caroling with the choir in the halls of my high school, taking the train into NYC with my mother to see The New York City Ballet perform The Nutcracker Suite, (5 times), and finally, listening to a member of our piano group improvise Christmas music.


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: What are your fond Christmas/holiday music memories
iamandrew3 #3052415 12/03/20 11:45 AM
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My fondest memories are of going on a school trip to see a matinee movie and performance at Radio City Music Hall. Back then, there was always a Christmas movie shown then the show. It was always so special.


Barbara
...without music, no life...
Re: What are your fond Christmas/holiday music memories
iamandrew3 #3052445 12/03/20 01:08 PM
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Shepherd University students get an opportunity every 4 years to do a performance of Handel's Messiah. They do it at St. John's Cathedral in Charles Town WV. Its an amazing sounding hall, and its something ill never forget.

This one might make you think im a weirdo lol. Every Christmas Eve, once everyone has gone to bed, I listen to a full performance of Messiaen's Vingt Regards. Its a kind of ritual for me, and I really love doing It every year. Been doing that since like 2009.

And of course fond memories of the music in the George C. Scott Christmas Carole and things like that. As a kid, we always had good Christmas music on while opening presents!

Re: What are your fond Christmas/holiday music memories
Music Me #3052458 12/03/20 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Music Me
My fondest memories are of going on a school trip to see a matinee movie and performance at Radio City Music Hall. Back then, there was always a Christmas movie shown then the show. It was always so special.
Radio City Music Hall! I never went there for Christmas but I remember seeing the Rockettes and 2 back-to-back movies, which was called a "double feature." It was 3 hours of non-stop entertainment. Great memory.

Last edited by gooddog; 12/03/20 01:45 PM.

Best regards,

Deborah
Re: What are your fond Christmas/holiday music memories
iamandrew3 #3052642 12/03/20 09:03 PM
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Going to my grammar school AT NIGHT to be in the Christmas show. Nothing specialer than the school building when I'm not usually there, walls festooned with kiddie decorations. This was in the mid 1950s, very small school.

Back in the late 60s I took an overnight train ride on Christmas eve. Went to the bar car because boredom. Lo and also behold, there was a spinet there, so I sat down and played carols. Within 30 seconds everybody was singing and buying me drinks. That was a big kick. Lots of nice feelings amongst strangers, very warm.

and here's my newest Xmas favorite:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=739xhwKMmVI


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