Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening?

I sang with the Mormon Choir of Washington DC from the spring of 2007 through the summer of 2016, with a bit of a break in there while I got my second Masters degree. All told, I had 7 Christmas seasons with them, and even though I like Christmas music a lot, starting rehearsals of it in September made it impossible to only listen to after Thanksgiving.

Hold on, I just realized I could be listening to Christmas music while I write this.

Okay, fixed that.
What a Glorious Night by Sidewalk Prophets - New to me and I quite like it

Anyway - usually by the end of November with MCW, we were starting our Christmas concerts. We might have even had one the Sunday after Thanksgiving. The tree lighting ceremonies in the temple visitors center were typically the first week of December and we’d wrap for the season by about the 15th.

On top of that, I was generally involved in my congregational choir and spent at least one Christmas involved in the LDS Institute Choir.

It was a LOT of Christmas music. And that’s great!

But now I don’t have that. I recently learned about the Tokyo Embassy Choir, but their rehearsals conflict with my taiko classes. I’m still involved with my congregation’s choir, but due to a variety of circumstances I have only been present at one rehearsal that involved a Christmas piece thus far.

So, instead of flooding my ear holes with Christmas music for months, I find myself having to seek it out and, as seen above, even reminding myself it’s Christmas music season! I’ve heard it out in town some, but not everywhere. In fact, a store we were in (Don Quixote for my local friends) yesterday was playing Christmas music in one section of the store (Pentatonix even!), pop in another (Ed Sheeran at the time), the store jingle on the stairs, and something else entirely on the bottom floor. That store is an assault on the eyes and ears and I love it.

I’ve actually realized that my current lifestyle has changed my consumption habits of all music, but this is Christmas time, so that’s my focus right now.

Oh the whole, I’m okay with this. I miss MCW, but I don’t miss all the stress of driving all over for all of our concerts. I like being able to skip Christmas songs I don’t like (if only I could have done that at MCW) and hear old favorites. I even heard an obscure Kate Bush song that I already loved, December Will Be Magic Again, while we were shopping in Kappabashi-Dori. In a way, it makes Christmas music even more special since I’m not completely overwhelmed by it, and I’m going to have to be really proactive to listen to all my favorites.

So, since I’m not being bombarded with it from any direction - what do you recommend I check out this year?

Some other musings on Christmas music can be found here from 2009 and this same day in 2008.


Heidi said...

I've really been enjoying being able to choose my Christmas music instead of having to listen to the questionable Christmas Muzak at Michaels. Right now, I'm listening to my jazz Christmas playlist on Spotify--Beegie Adair, Remi Ramaget, Wynton Marsalis, Diana Krall, and Dave Brubeck. My current favorite version of "The Little Drummer Boy" is a Duke Pearson performance that is mostly piano and drums. I'll eventually move on to big band and Motown and Lounge. It's been nice to remember that I have control over my music this season!

Giggles said...

We've collected several Christmas albums we love over the years so this year we bought a flash drive to dedicate solely to Christmas music that we'll keep in the car so we don't have to listen to whatever questionable stuff is on the radio. And, true to form, when left on random our car likes hearing Feliz Navidad. We're not sure why that is but at least we have a few different versions for it to choose from.