Friday, December 17, 2010

Performances Celebrate Christmas Season

MUSICAL GREETING -- A Beautiful Mind created the MCWL holiday graphic with a Clay Aiken photo taken by fivegoldens during a Joyful Noise concert.

Merry Christmas With Love

Student Recitals Herald Holidays

For weeks, I have thought my neighborhood's massive utility project would hamper the annual holiday performance classes of my music students. In the end, Mother Nature played an even larger role with Thursday's freezing wintry mix icing the streets and postponing the violin ensemble's Christmas play-in until January.

Headquarters for the construction project, my side street is lined with a parade of vehicles that my three-year-old grandson Kai would define as absolute bliss -- dump trucks, front loaders, bulldozers plus mounds of dirt and gravel. A Porta-John sentinel guards my corner, and crews work until after dark nightly.

For this reason, the traditional piano gathering was relocated to Wesleyan Christian Academy on Wednesday, and our class presented an enjoyable mix of seasonal songs and other genres -- "Quiet River" (Miranda), "A Whole New World" (Payton), and a jazzy version of "Erie Canal" (Caleb). "Three Tunes for Away in a Manger" (Joseph) intertwines various versions of this carol in a lovely duet.

Holiday Songs Reflect Season

Mitch brought along his mother as his duet partner. Chase, Brenda, and Jeremy filled the choral room with traditional holiday fare: "Adeste Fidelis," "Good King Wenceslas," "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," "Angels We Have Heard on High," and, echoing the weather forecast, "Frosty the Snowman."

This teacher is always pleased when musicality shines through. Despite some nerves, dynamic differences, shadings, and echoes were present.

High fives to these students for the gifts they shared with their families, friends, and each other! The recap for violinists Anna, Erica, Ora, Tatum, and Jay will occur sometime after New Year's.

Students Employ Intense Lobbying

The contents of the annual gift bags from the teacher have attained levels of monumental importance, as the final week of lessons was filled with a well-orchestrated litany of hints for favorite goodies.

Little did the young musicians know the treasured pop corn, hot chocolate (with marshmallows!), candy canes, etc., were purchased two weeks ago.

The colorful bags which normally decorate my grand piano this season enticingly lined risers in the WCA choral room. Hopefully, their contents and the music learned for the Christmas season will be re-opened often in the coming days.

Holiday performance classes have become a special "Merry Christmas With Love" greeting card, celebrating the season and honoring the parents who make music lessons possible throughout the year.

Merry Christmas With Love - Montage by iloveclay101

MCWL Title Track Fan Favorite

Featuring videos by Hippoga, SecretlyLovesClay, and Scarlett from the 2004-06 Joyful Noise tours and televison appearances, the Merry Christmas with Love montage by iloveclay101 can also be viewed at YouTube.

"Merry Christmas With Love" is the title track of Clay's popular 2004 holiday album. Written by Greg Wayne Davis and Bill Smiley, the song was first recorded by Sandi Patti for a 1983 Christmas album.

MCWL was released by RCA Records on Nov. 16, 2004. The album was re-released on Aug. 18, 2009 on the Sony label and is available through Amazon and other online sites.

The platinum
CD was recognized by Billboard as the Best Selling Christmas Album of 2004 and the Best Selling Christian Album of 2005.

Merry Christmas With Love

She leaned with her head on the window
Watching evergreen bend in the snow
Remembering Christmas the way it had been
So many seasons ago.

When children would reach for their stockings
And open the presents they found
The lights on the tree would shine bright in their eyes
Reflecting the love all around.

This year there's no one to open the gifts
No reason for trimming the tree
And just as a tear made it's way to the floor
She heard voices outside start to sing.

Merry Christmas to all who may dwell here
Merry Christmas if even just one
May the joy of the season surround you
Merry Christmas with love.

Carolers sang as she opened the door
Faces of friends in the crowd
And all of the shadows of lonely reminders
Driven away by the sound.

Now the heart that for years had been silent
Was suddenly filled with a song
As she clung to their hands like a child in the night
She found her self singing along.

Merry Christmas to all who may dwell here
Merry Christmas if even just one
May the joy of the season surround you
Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas to all who may dwell here
Merry Christmas if even just one
May the joy of the season surround you
Merry Christmas with love!

Below are clickables recalling the Joyful Noise/holiday tours. Included are AmazingCA 's graphic, photos by Riversend, 1; concert photo by fivegoldens, 2; lead graphic by ABeautifulMind, 3; graphic by cindilu2, photos by toni7babe, 4; and ACA's graphic, photos by ClayIzzaQT, 5.

Mother Nature Ushers in Cantata

Last weekend (Saturday morning rehearsal and two Sunday services) I played oboe in the annual Christmas Cantata at Jamestown United Methodist Church. As always, it was a family affair with my sister and niece on flute and my brother-in-law conducting 72 choristers and the 40-piece orchestra.

Centerpiece of this season's program were four suites from "The Many Moods of Christmas," arranged by Robert Shaw and Robert Russell Bennett. Among the carols still spinning in my memory bank are "Angels We Have Heard on High," "Fum Fum Fum," "March of the Kings," "Bring a Torch Jeanette Isabella," and "I Saw Three Ships."

As if programmed into the second weekend of December, Mother Nature hit cantata day for the second consecutive season with a cold, rainy forecast. Despite the weather obstacles, the dampened musicians presented a program of glorious, uplifting music. The huge sanctuary was packed for both services with extra chairs added in the vestibule.

If you need information about the Pepsi Refresh Campaign (updated widgets, printable fliers, etc.) and other December fundraisers for the National Inclusion Project, scroll or link to the 12/6 entry, Clay Aiken Fans Vote, Wrap for Inclusion.

Wishing you and yours a very happy and musical holiday season!

Holiday signature by Linda


SueReu said...

great blog - thanks!!!!

Love MCWL, love student recitals, love beautiful blends.

Anonymous said...

I listen to MCWL all year. There is just something about Clay's voice and Christmas songs.

Sounds like a lot of goody bags for "sweet" students.

That montage will do just fine for a Christmas card. I wish I had one to send you that awesome.

Hugs margaret

Anonymous said...

Hi Caro,

The Montage by iloveclay101
is reminds me I have not looked at my Clay Christmas DVD yet this year, how could I have not. I too listen to MCWL all year long. MDYK gets me every time!

Your Christmas Cantata must be beautiful, you must get it on video one day. Between your construction and the bad weather, things are sure not cooperating.

I just looked at "New-Clay Aiken - Virtual Duets. Christmas montages, graphics , maze - full of Christmas spirit & fun!" Ashes, how I miss her. Can not beleive it's been a year.

KEEP WARM Caro.....


Anonymous said...

Always enjoy your blogs, but Christmas U r so busy and still U bring Us smiles in your words,etc. Music is going on and ppl are enjoying your talents too. Thanks and do have a joyous,blessed holiday season! Wi.

claysweetea said...

Beautiful blog!

Sandy said...

Sound like your students did a magnificent job and made teacher very proud!

I was wrapping presents the other night and listened over and over to MCWL. Love it! It sure made wrapping presents a little more pleasant!

Good news that NIP is still number 2! Hope to see them retain this position or move to number 1.

It's a great day for the USA for the Senate to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" law! Reading Clay's blog, it's a pretty safe assumption to say that he is "ecstatic" about this!

Have a wonderful week Caro!


T said...

So happy to read your blog especially you sharing your student's recital. Awesome! This is the time of the year that brings so much joy and seeing the beautiful graphics & montage. The festive holiday and your blog makes it special. Thanks so much Caro!

With the busy schedule, your blog is always a treat!

Have a wonderful weekend & enjoy the coming holiday!

Hugs ♥

MissSally said...

I'm sure Miranda, Peyton, Caleb, Joseph, Mitch, Chase, Brenda, and Jeremy's musical expertise made the holiday even merrier. Congratulations to all, and also to the teach!

I'm looking forward to reading about Anna, Erica, Ora, Tatum, and Jay in January.