This past weekend, I went to Texas to see my grandson perform in his second Christmas band concert. Last year he was a beginning tuba player. This year, he’s advanced to the symphonic band. Oh, what a difference from last year until this one! The tempo was faster, they were together on the melody, and the blending of the sections was so much mellower. Delightful.
They played four numbers, the first of which was The Christmas Eve March where a portion of the song featured the percussion and tuba players. Lots of bum-bum-bum. They played with skill and authority. Next was African Noel with an exotic beat that reminded me of our brothers and sisters in another part of the world. A toe-tapping Holly, Jolly Christmas followed with the finale of Feliz Navidad, its Latin beat resounding with the very talented percussion section again. And in each of the songs, the tuba notes grounded the instruments, giving the overall performance depth and a framework.
It made me more aware than ever that we are all part of humankind. Different cultures. Different generations. One reason to celebrate. How can we not get in the Christmas spirit when we stop for a moment to ponder and remember that Jesus is the Spirit of Christmas? Jesus who came in fulfillment of the prophecy, to save us all, even a wretch like me.
I had a wonderful time with my grandsons and their parents as well as about twelve hours of playing my favorite Christmas CDs on the trip to and fro. I arrived home weary, but filled anew with the wonder of Christmas, the love of family, and the gift of music in our world.
May all heaven and nature sing!