Caroling, Caroling
 
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December is here

I managed to avoid the Black Friday shopping craze by making a little trip down to the southern end of US Route 1. After spending so much time driving Rt. 1 in New Jersey, this trip has been on my bucket list ever since I moved to Florida. After all, it's in the same state, so it can't be that far away now, can it?

I really enjoyed visiting Key West, and hope to go back again to spend more time there. While I'm sure the locals noted the influx of tourists for the Thanksgiving holiday, it certainly didn't have the hectic holiday feel that I usually associate with the end of November. It was a nice break to prepare for the upcoming busy season.

Concerts Galore

And a busy season it is! Over the next two weekends, I will be part of four completely different musical events. First up will be a performance with the all professional Basilica Choir on Friday, Dec 6. The first time I got to direct this group, I thought I had Manhattan Transfer as my choir! They were so fabulous I had no criticism to offer them. Since then, I thought their regular director was being a little easy on them, so I offered them a setting of Salve Regina that I felt would challenge them and was worthy of their level of musical excellence. (They were eventually kind enough to include it on their CD A Cappella Magic.)

On Sunday, December 8, I'll be one of the organists for Advent Lessons and Carols at the Cathedral of St. Luke. Canon musician Ben Lane has challenged me to provide "stunning improvisations" for an extended prelude and for the postlude. In between these two events, I'll be running the OUC Orlando half-marathon, so I hope my legs will still have enough go left in them to live up to the challenge.

Handel's Messiah

For the last couple of years, I have played continuo in the orchestra for performances of this seasonal staple by the Villages Community Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorale. Due to schedule conflicts, I was not able to participate with that group this year, so was pleased to be asked to help the North Orlando Sanctuary Choir and Friends with their performance on December 14. While I tend to personally favor lesser known works, I know many people feel like it wouldn't be Christmastime without a few excerpts of Messiah, so I'm happy to oblige.

Carol Sing

For many years, the choir of Holy Redeemer has offered a service of Lessons and Carols to the congregation during the month of December. Last year, we changed the format to include more congregational singing in order to familiarize people with the new hymnal that had just arrived in the parish. We will keep the same format this year as there are still many gems to discover in our new hymnals, in addition to seasonal favorites that you can't ever sing often enough. Beyond the carols in the hymnal, the choir will a few selections on its own, including one of my own carols, To Shepherds Abiding. You can hear last year's performance by clicking on the picture below.

If you are in the Orlando area, I highly encourage you to come and hear one of the many splendid musical programs that will take place here. (Candlelight at Epcot isn't the only local musical offering during the season.) If you are somewhere else, I hope there are as many musical delights for you to feast upon in your area as there will be here.

In the spirit of advent, I wish you all the best in your holiday preparations!

Glenn

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Upcoming Events

Date

Venue

December 6, 2013
7:30 pm

Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe,
Orlando, FL
December 8, 2013
6 pm

Cathedral Church of St. Luke,
Orlando, FL
December 14, 2013
11:00 am

North Orlando SDA Church
Orlando, FL
December 15, 2013
4:00 pm

Holy Redeemer Catholic Church
Kissimmee, FL