Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Music

What a lot of music we've heard/provided the past few days!

Sunday morning
After church that morning, there was a potluck dinner followed by an hour-long program of music, both of which (the meal and the program, that is) were intended to serve as opportunities/enticements for people to donate money to the church organ renovation fund.  We performed a Scandinavian carol called "In Bethlehem Is Born an Infant"; Susan and the girls sang in two-part harmony, and I accompanied on the piano.  It is nice that the girls are advancing enough as musicians to be able to hold their own singing in parts!

Sunday evening
We returned to church that evening for the Sunday school Christmas program.  As Sunday school director, Susan organized it; and as Sunday school students, Abigail and Hillary performed in it (they both read selections from scripture, and Abigail played Mary while Hillary played a shepherd).  Suzanna is no longer in Sunday school (instead she's in confirmation classes now), but she played piano duets with the girls' piano teacher (who is also an organist at our church) for prelude and postlude music . . . and even played a piano solo during the postlude!

Monday evening
We attended Suzanna's jazz band concert at the junior high school.  There is a band and a choir for each grade, and last night was really the night for the eighth-grade band and choir to perform.  However, there are two mixed-age music groups--the jazz band and the honor choir--and last night the jazz band performed.  Suzanna plays trombone in that group, so we got to see/hear her in action with that group.  They sounded really good for a pack of beginners.

Can you spot the female trombonist amongst all the boys?
Tuesday evening
And we returned to the junior high school tonight for Suzanna's seventh-grade band concert.  She's not in seventh-grade choir (it wouldn't fit into her daily class schedule), but she is in honor choir (the other mixed-age music group at the school), which performed tonight, too.  Both groups did a fine job.  We heard creative arrangements of familiar Christmas songs, which got us in the mood for the holiday.  And we were as proud as can be to see Suzanna performing once again!

Suzanna should be easier to spot in this photo than in the previous one!
Good zoom-in on the first-chair trombonist!
By the way, tonight's concert was preceded by a special Christmas supper with our friend Monica, who hosted us at her apartment for a tasty meal on a festive table decorated for the holiday.  Susan's dad Roger joined us (and later came to the concert with us), too.  We got stuffed, not only on the chicken and borscht but also on all the Christmas cookies and treats afterward!  And Monica gave the girls terrific Christmas gifts: the most beautiful musical instruments carved from wood--miniature stringed instruments that have wind-up music boxes inside and that sit on wooden pedestals for display.  What a thoughtful and dear friend!

Suzanna, Abigail, Monica, and Hillary
Suzanna, Hillary, Abigail, and Grandpa Gustafson


  1. All those concerts were a wonderful way to gear up for Christmas--and we got to kick things off with a celebratory supper with "Grandma Monica!"

  2. All the concerts bring back memories of our own concerts that inevitably fell on a stormy night! Ah....memories!