Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Spirit of Christmas

The weather has been terribly cold here in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. We've even had snow flurries -- something not common in early December around here. I put up my Christmas tree and started baking a few cookies, all things that help me get in the holiday mood. But the thing that really helps me feel the Spirit of Christmas is music. I've been singing and playing music my whole life. For much of that time I was in either a choir or an orchestra rehearsing for December concerts and Church meetings. It's the songs, carols, and oratorios that speak the loudest to my soul about what Christmas is truly about, the birth of Jesus Christ.

Of course my favorite Christmas music is Handel's Messiah followed closely by the simple carol Away in a Manger. Given my background as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints I have a special fondness for the Christmas music performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I have been blessed to have opportunities to sing in the Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah, first as a member of the Utah Oratorio Society and later The Mormon Youth Chorus. Now that You Tube is a household word, I can share some of my favorite Mormon Tabernacle Choir videos with all of you. May this music spark the Spirit of Christmas in you!

First the choir's most recent video of the Hallelujah Chorus, followed by Mack Wilberg's amazing arrangement of The First Noel. Last is another Wilberg arrangement featuring one of my favorite opera singers, Renee' Fleming, singing What Child is This?. Merry Christmas to one and all!

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