The Messiah Sing Along 2012

This week's local Messiah sing along sounded like a Norman Rockwell painting looks: real people, a strong sense of community, beauty, and a sprinkling of unmatched, droopy socks. My daughter and I had a great time, as always, in the alto section. We sat just in front of the basses and tenors, and guess what? Breaking news: Men do sing! The bass directly behind me knew every wiggly chorus part. Before we started I heard him softly singing a famous soprano melody way up in his falsetto range. Zoe and I chuckled and turned around to see his young son sitting beside him. We smiled and nodded. There were lots of sopranos so the Hallelujah chorus was thrilling. Some tenors don't try to show off but they can't help it because their vocal range and timbre somehow trump our sensible alto parts. Sometimes my goosebumps stopped me from singing, and I had to turn my head to the left and just watch the tenors, snapshots of physical diversity singing their hearts out. Speaking of diversity, the conductor was Japanese. Zoe and I occasionally write messages on each other's scores. On "For Unto Us A Child Is Born" I wrote in the margin, “I heard this in the soundtrack of my dream the night before you were born.” After shooshing me for singing too loudly last year (she was right), she had written on my book’s “Hallelujah Chorus,” “You can sing as loudly as you want on this one.” And so what if the organ and string quartet were off by one beat in the coda of one piece, and so what if some of the hundreds of community singers completely lost their parts from time to time, at the end we were all smiling and applauding ourselves and looking forward to next year. ~ Velma