Tuesday, September 15, 2009

christmas music in september?

I may have mentioned, but I am the new choir director at church. We were scheduled to perform this upcoming Sunday, but through a series of events (namely, not having access to the library of music, not having a time or place to practice, and not having the list of interested members) that is not going to happen. Instead, our first practice will be on Sunday morning.

I am very scared. This is a lot of pressure, doing something totally out of my comfort zone. I can wave my arm around, and even direct a cutoff, but have no idea how to do the fancy directing, or bring people in and stuff. Luckily, it is for church, so hopefully I'll have some help from up top in this new calling.

So, as far as music selection, I've jumped right into Christmas songs. This is because while I'll be in town this upcoming Sunday, we'll be in the Tetons the next week, General Conference is the next week, and then I'll be in Germany the next two weeks. I already feel like a slacker for being so absentee, but what else can I do? I may have to call an assistant to run rehearsals while I'm gone. Hopefully it will work out.

During church last Sunday, I sneaked into library and perused the music. Most of it I had no idea what it was, or I knew for sure it was not what I wanted. I came out with Set II of the Alfred Bert carols, with "Jesu Parvule" in mind, as well as "Were You There." Tonight, I went to my parents' house for advice on music and the order of the Christmas program. It was great! I love sitting around the piano with my dad, and both my parents have a lot of experience with Christmas programs, so their advice was very helpful. Here is the tentative plan for the program:

What are the Signs
Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus
The Angel Gabriel
Once in Royal David's City
In the Bleak Midwinter
The First Noel
Jesu Parvule
Away in a Manger
Mary's Lulluby
Silent Night
Were You There?
Oh Come All Ye Faithful

I know this is a lot. Some of these will be congregational, some small groups, some by the choir, some solos. Also, I haven't decided for sure on any of them.

What is your favorite Christmas song?


alyddall said...

Hey Marta - Just in case you haven't already - you should ask your bishopric how they want the program to go. They might want speakers too, but maybe they told you this already.

I think you will do a great job. You have A LOT more experience singing in a choir and watching a director than probably 95% of the people you will be directing.

Oh - also be sure to remember that if you do have to put together the whole program, you can delegate a number to the young women and one or two to the primary.

Let me know if I can help you. It is a fun job really.

amy said...

yay! this sounds awesome! i can't wait to come watch! :) my favorite christmas song, bar none, is O Holy Night. LOVE that song.

Ana said...

You are well on your way, and September is the perfect time to start.

Wish I could be there to hear your results!

alyddall said...

My favorite Christmas song, by the way, is "Jesus Christ the Apple Tree" by Elizabeth Poston. Though there isn't much strictly Christmas about it. Close second for "In the bleak midwinter" and "Still, Still, Still"

alyddall said...

One more - and you can/should delete this comment - you put that you are the new choir director at "work" not church or ward or whatever you meant. ;-) Love to see your co-workers singing!

Auntie Knickers said...

Good luck Marta (I was surfing for Christmas music blogs and came across yours). It sounds like a really good program you've put together. I have a hard time picking a favorite Christmas song, but I was happy to see you chose In the Bleak Midwinter. Since I now live in Maine and was for many years in Minnesota, and also just because of the beautiful words and the two beautiful tunes by Holst and Darke, it's one I couldn't do without.

Marta said...

Auntie Knickers,

So glad you stopped by, my blog, that is. In the Bleak Midwinter is one of my favorites, and often makes me cry. As for the program, I may have to make some revisions, since I may have been a bit ambitious in some of my selections.

Ali, Amy, and Ana,

(Funny that you all have three letter names!)

Thanks for your comments! I love comments, you know.

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