Why does so much fun stuff happen in December? I can never get to all the nice concerts and parties and candlelight carol sings that go on, let alone do all the cookie baking and Advent reading and Christmas movie watching that I'd like to do at home, not to mention just walking the neighborhood each night to look at Christmas lights. I'm trying to plan ahead and prioritize what I most want to do this year.
So one priority is the Messiah sing-along. You all know what I'm talking about? People get together with full scores of the Messiah and a volunteer orchestra and soloists, and just try to sing the thing! It happens every year at Caltech; I always went as a student and now that I work there I can go again. One of my old churches always does it too. But this year, much to my excitement, I've located a sing-along that has rehearsals beforehand! Finally, I can actually learn the alto part and take a stab at singing it properly. It's happening at Calvary Presbyterian Church in South Pasadena (California) and if you want to come all the info is here. Even if I couldn't do the actual sing-along, I'd be going to the rehearsals. They've been quite fun, and the church's choir director is so patient and energetic and cheerful and funny that he makes me wish I were Presbyterian. The real thing happens this Sunday at 4 pm and everyone can come sing whether or not they attended rehearsals. And there will be really good cookies afterwards. I know this because I'm making some of them. :)
I was just practicing my part at home. I can't sight-read music and some of the phrases the altos sing don't make a lot of sense in isolation, and of course it's mainly the soprano part that one remembers after hearing a performance. All that explains why I've never learned my part before, even though I've been listening to the The Messiah for years. So I armed myself with the full score, a recording of a performance, and some simple midi files of just the alto part. By working away at all three of these I've gotten better. It's much easier to learn at rehearsal, though, especially since I always luck out and find myself sitting next to a really good alto who knows what she's doing.
Must go make cookies now. :) As you can see by the pace of my updates, blogging is one of the things that's been forced farther down my priority list during December.
Gratuitous Thanksgiving photo! Everyone knows the best dish of all is the stuffing that's been baked in the bird. It's also the only dish that never leaves any leftovers, so I took this picture to remember it by. :)