December 17th, 2005

Me

Trying to Spread Holiday Cheer

JC, Tubby, Bri, and I decided we wanted to do some caroling this year, just for the hell of it. We got together and rehearsed a bunch of stuff. We have the straightforward four-part arrangements as well as a few jazzier arrangements. We made an effort to sing mostly secular pieces, because we want to spread holiday cheer but not offend anyone by being heavy-handed with the Christian element. (That didn't stop some fat kid from screaming "Happy Hanukkah" practically in our faces in the middle of "Winter Wonderland" last night!)

We decided to sing in Arlington Center last night, mostly because I had to rehearse at 8 near Arlington Center. That area proved to be pretty dead, though. The Regent Theater had expressed interest in having us sing in front of their establishment, or even in their lobby, for an opening they were having that night. But not many people showed up, and those that did hightailed it into the theater. We were having difficulty finding any audience at all until we ran into muffyjo, who was on the way to meet lillibet and jason237 for dinner. We imposed ourselves on them, and they made a most gracious and appreciative audience for a few minutes.

Today we sang at a nursing and rehabilitation center in the Fresh Pond area. The residents there make a much more receptive audience. (I have to admit, though: I realized as we were getting ready to sing that I don't particularly like old people. I know this makes me a bad person, and I'm ashamed by it, but I hate to see the human body so run down as that.) Anyway, we sang in the dining room on one floor, then went room to room for the nonambulatory patients. I suggested that we pick two songs to sing before going into a room, but JC and Bri kept insisting we ask the patients what their favorite Christmas songs were. That's a problem when you've only prepared 7 songs. Fortunately, most of them kept asking for "White Christmas," and we have a kickass arrangement of "White Christmas"; it was embarrassing in one room, though, where the lady first asked for "The Bells of Saint Mary," then "I'll Be Home for Christmas," and finally "Silent Night," before we finally settled on "Let It Snow." But really, the residents didn't care what we sang; they just seemed happy that someone took the time to come and sing for them for a little bit.

We have one more night when the four of us can get together, and that's Wednesday. We're trying to decide whether to try to schedule something with another nursing home or go carolling in Davis Square. If you happen to be in Davis Square on Wednesday night and see us, please stop and listen for a bit.