Monday, December 3, 2012

Messiah and Marimbas

Tonight I went to a Messiah sing-in. Remember how I was whining about going to one last year, only to find that the audience didn't even get to join in with the choir on the choruses? Well this one had no choir and no director and no orchestra. We didn't even have to bring music. We just showed up. It was very modern. The music played on the auditorium screen for us and scrolled along as we sang. For the recitation parts in between choruses, LDS clips of Christ's life played during the music.

Their sound is gone out...

Now let me take a break from Handel for a moment and talk about one of my secret hobbies. My experience tonight reminded me of it. In college I thought it would be fun to take a percussion class to release some stress and become a cool drummer person. It turns out that drums weren't really my thing--not musical enough--so I focused on learning to play the marimba.

I became pretty good at it. By the time I left school I was up to four mallets and could play this song:
(At least listen to past a minute where it gets cool.)

I don't know if I'm still any good at it, because it turns out that marimbas are expensive and hard to fit in your house. So now it's not my hobby, it's just my secret hobby.

One day during class, the better percussionists were going to play a song one of the others had written. They hadn't practiced all together, but they went ahead and put three marimbas in a 'U' and the guy who wrote the song directed it. It was a mess. They weren't sure when to come in and were dropping notes right and left. They stopped, defeated. Then one of the seniors in our class stepped in. "Come on, try it again. I'll direct." With confidence and verve he led the group on to a rousing performance of the student composition.

All we like sheep are gone astray...

Now I will share a moment from the sing-in. Right before we started singing, the guy who put this thing together asked who wanted to sit while we sang. Only a few people in the large audience raised their hands. The lights went down. The music started. I looked around me to find everyone sitting. I stood up. My little brother stood up. Everyone else stayed sitting as they sang. Halfway through the song, I sat down, defeated. Sorry, bro.

We definitely needed a director to tell us when to stand, (Because really, who sits as they sing the Messiah? Especially after they voted not to?) and bring us in at the appropriate places. We also needed a choir in front of us to make the "rough places plain," i.e. make us sound good, and maybe a small orchestra to get some energy flowing. (Or we could have gotten off our tushies and stood up...)

After I sat down, my dad leaned over and patiently whispered to me how when everyone else was sitting you can't really stand up because you'll block their view of the music. Thanks Dad.

The quest to find a decent sing-in continues.


Rebecca and Cody said...

I will let you know how the one on Friday goes! :)

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