Music for the Holidays

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Many folks of a certain age may have owned a Walkman, but probably not an ear bud or two and they no longer spend much time with their hi-fi’s (if any such survive), but they still enjoy music. And when the December holiday season comes around, they delight in the opportunities in town to be part of great music.

The seasonal music started this year with the Christmas tree lighting on the Green at the end of November, missed by this reporter, but it certainly must have included a carol or two, and the a cappella group “Time Was” performed at the Kent Memorial Library. First Church joined Second Baptist on Sunday morning December 8 for their “Advent Breakfast and Carol Sing,” and that afternoon a small contingent of hardy folks gathered in the unheated First Baptist Church for the very traditional carol sing there, followed by hot cocoa by the stove in the anteroom. On December 12 following a school concert, the Middle School Elite Singers visited that school’s Christmas Boutique for an impromptu concert.

One of the most popular occasions each year is the Annual Community Christmas Concert at Second Baptist. This year’s on December 14 was one of the best, with just the right combination of choral presentations from the church’s own groups and both middle and high school kids plus the Hall High Choraliers from West Hartford, all interspersed with standard sing-along carols and two virtuoso performances: a beautiful, powerful, aria from Handel’s Messiah and an enthusiastic, jazzy piano piece played by its composer with support from a friend’s bass guitar.

Christmas is two weeks past as this essay is written, but its writer is silently voicing, in perfect tune and tempo, of course, his favorite Christmas piece: “Cantique de Noel (O Holy Night!).” What wonderful optimism underlies the Christmas story: “For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!” 

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