Fa La La La La

If I'm not in the Christmas spirit yet, I never will be. I have attended three Christmas concerts in the last six days. The Ark City High School Winter Band Concert last Tuesday was a festive start to the week. Hans Judd directs a large and robust band program at Ark City Middle School. The 6th, 7th and 8th grade bands each brought three selections. I was impressed by "Duel of the Fates," a John Williams' tune for the Star Wars trilogy.

The ACHS Concert and Jazz Bands were in fine form with "DeerPath Dances" and "Arranco." These groups are helmed by Chris Van Gilder. I loved the percussion ensemble's rendition of "Carol of the Bells." It was a complex and well-executed piece. Conner Coldwell and Cameron Crabtree, friends from church, are members of the percussion section of the high school band.

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On Sunday afternoon, the Cowley College Music Department presented their Christmas Vespers Concert. It was a spiritual, mesmerizing oasis in the middle of a very busy Sunday. From the acapella balcony intro of "Angels We Have Heard on High," to the final notes of "Silent Night," it was a time of peace and worship. It was clear that Connie Donatelli, director, Dr. Gloria Tham, new accompanist, and the choirs had put in many hours of effort in preparation for this event.

Their rendition of "Carol of the Drum" was the finest one I have been privileged to hear. I was also pleased to hear much-overlooked "Breath of Heaven," a sweet lullaby made popular by Amy Grant. The last three songs were sung by candlelight with the choir surrounding the auditorium. A reception after the concert was perfectly accented by the Cowley Singers bringing secular tunes. Jessica Coldwell, a member of my church, is a freshman at Cowley and an alto in both singing groups.

The Ark City High School Choirs and Orchestra brought their Christmas offering tonight. I enjoyed holiday tunes by the men's ensemble and the women's select chorus and the dual-version of "Joy to the World" by the Symphonic Choir. Remember "Jeremiah was a Bullfrog" by Three Dog Night? The orchestra's pieces were ambitious and well-crafted. I was excited for their new director, Mrs. Trast.

"Oh, Holy Night" was a beautiful and poignant ending to the concert. This number featured the full orchestra, the Symphonic Choir, and select brass and percussion instruments, directed by Tim Cassidy. I was happy to attend this event and support my friends from church. Junior Conner Coldwell is a member of the Symphonic Choir, while his freshman sister, Alexis Coldwell, is in the Select Women's Chorus and plays bass in the orchestra. Talented kids!

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The Hubster and I are sleeping in heavenly peace since Friday, when our new mattress set was delivered. It had been 14 years since our last one was purchased, and we were really feeling all the lumps, bumps and springs. The purchase was our Christmas gift to each other, and a Cyber Monday bargain, to boot. The cats are pretty sure it's their Christmas gift, however!

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Missionary Baptist Church was the place to be yesterday. We had our annual Christmas dinner after morning services, and it was a long time coming! During the remodeling of our fellowship hall, we weren't able to have meals together, so we made up for it in a big way. The menu consisted of ham, turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing, gravy, and a multitude of vegetables, salads and side dishes. The meal was capped off with a dazzling array of desserts. I was particularly interested in the gourmet cheesecake selections.

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If you have a Facebook account, you may wish to read my blog link every Tuesday morning on my Facebook wall. My computer-savvy daughter, Sarah, and her boyfriend, Derek, helped me to set up a link. Thanks, guys!

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Exercise Update: I did three hand-weight calisthenic sets last week, and two aerobic workouts.

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Notable Quote:

"Work, wait and pray."--Charles H. Spurgeon
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