Tuesday, January 06, 2009

'Twas the night before Christmas...

Here's wishing everyone a very joyful Christmas! And a happy New Year!

This post comes really, really late. I had been wanting to write before Christmas; but the days before Christmas were really busy and before we know it, the Christmas season is coming to an end this Sunday.

Every year Christmas brings a new wonder in my life. I don't ever recall spending two Christmases alike!

The Saturday before Christmas, my housemates and I threw a party. It was a pleasant surprise when I 'met' an old friend of mine online, and she agreed to come. While inviting your friends to a party through an IM client is not unusual, it is still a pleasant surprise to chat with her at last, because I haven't logged on to any IM in half a year, and I haven't seen this friend in at least 8 years! We hit it off as if we were never apart.

This year, I was asked to play the organ for the Christmas Midnight Mass. Since the usual musician was away, I had to agree and because it has been many years since I last played the keyboard, I was unquestionably apprehensive. To play for an audience was bad enough, but to play for Jesus in the Mass, and a solemn Latin mass at that, is even worse. So for a week before Christmas, we scrambled to put together the repertoire of songs appropriate for the occasion.

Soon the Christmas eve was here! Since our singing voices refuse to align to our ears, we had to transpose some of the songs so as to avoid breaking any glasses in the chapel. I discovered that music softwares are amazing! (I used Notation Composer) All I need to do was to load a MIDI file, and lo and behold, the score is nicely written out. A few more clicks and it is magically transposed to whichever chord you desire! Another click allowed me to annotate the score with the right chords. It really saved the day.

As for the Mass itself, I looked back to it with awe. We sang Puer Natus, Adeste Fideles, and all the sung parts in the style of Missa de Angelis. I personally spent two days practising those songs and 'finding' the right chords, and four weeks of Advent to welcome the Child who is our savior. Although my ears are better than my fingers and suffered much listening to my own crude playing, I must say I am very happy to be able to play for Him that night ;)

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