Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Singing Christmas Tree

Janet Detcher with you today.

It's that time again--time for our church choir to begin practicing for our Singing Christmas Tree. That program is my favorite part of the season. We've been doing it for about 15 years now. It has been our 'gift' to the community and has become an expected and anticipated part of Kanner Lake's events. We've often heard that Christmas would not be the same without our annual Singing Christmas Tree. Jared has even given us free advertising every year! (Thanks, Jared!) It brings folks from as far away as Spokane.

We are blessed with some exceptional voices for such a small congregation, and our directors, the Harrises, talented as they are, have always taken us to such a high level of musical presentation it would rival any larger church in the big city. We perform five nights during the season, and it's a packed house every night.

We'll have our usual cast of characters. Hank is always eager to participate and is never caught by stage fright. Larry Cellaway is a fine tenor, and also is a great help to building the sets; and I'm praying that John Truitt is well and able to participate. John has a beautiful singing voice and always moves people to tears with his music.

As is our tradition, I've been looking over music with Dawn Harris, (she and her husband, Skip, are our directors). The other day we got to reminiscing about past years. We got laughing so hard I thought we'd split a gut.

One year, it seemed that whatever could go wrong did go wrong. Ellen Linden, our organist, had practiced diligently for her part. A couple weeks before we were to begin our performances, the organ died. And there didn't seem to be any reviving it without a large outlay of cash. Cash we didn't have lying around.

The choir committed it to prayer, and two days later a gentleman came to visit Hank at the church. He told Hank he felt the Lord wanted him to buy our church a new organ. (He was a member of another congregation in town, mind you!) We were overwhelmed. The new Hammond organ was delivered less than a week later. Ellen was clearly beaming as she beautifully offered her talent for our production.

Another year, flu swept through the ranks just days prior to our first performance. Panic sat in. Soloists were left with less than 100% voices, and Hank even missed a couple of nights of rehearsals due to sickness. Somehow, we all managed to make the very last rehearsal and, weak as everyone was, we knew in our hearts that it was going to be a great year. (It always seems the more the enemy fights you, the better the results of your labor).

John Truitt was singing King Herod's bombastic solo and was the last to get the flu. But, as everyone who knows John will tell you, NOTHING gets that man down! In spite of feeling so crummy, John pulled off a memorable performance as King Herod. The funny thing is, John had changed a few of the words of the song, adding his own personality, without the choir or director having any knowledge of the changes. The choir loved it, though the audience had no idea. It was unforgettable indeed!

One funny side note on that sixth evening's performance: One of the young ladies was wearing a hairpiece. The congregation was already seated, waiting for the program to begin. As "Cheryl" climbed the ladder to take her place with the other altos, she ducked to enter the riser. When she came back up, one of the branches grabbed her hairpiece, and off it came, left dangling as an odd ornament on the tree. She was so shocked she didn't know whether to grab it and run or to ignore it and just take her place. After a painful moment's hesitation, she grabbed it, slapped it back on her head, took a minute to straighten it as best as she could and walked on around to her place on the riser.

There is so much more but I'll have to save that for another day.

Believe me, you just never know what's gonna happen, but one thing's for sure: you don't want to miss the annual New Community Church's Singing Christmas Tree. Like they say, "Christmas would not be the same without it!"

-- Janet

Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 7:00 AM
It sounds so great... I seriously hope I can make it to this year's Annual New Community Church's Singing Christmas Tree... Also Peep into my Christmas Blog to check out some really cool stuffs and unique ideas
Posted by Blogger Sean Carter : 1:43 AM
I love the church's singing Christmas tree! It's my favorite time of year. I do remember the year one of the little angels fell off a riser, though. The whole church gasped. She was okay, though. Got right back up. I told my husband, "I could swear she FLEW back up."
Posted by Anonymous maggie : 8:13 AM
We have a singing Christmas tree in our church too. (Across the country from you. One year a young male soloist's voice changed--right in the middle of his performance. I kid you not. Notes came out high, then low, high, then low. Poor kid. Didn't sing again for years.
Posted by Anonymous darah : 10:34 AM
I think Jake should try out for the part of a singing angel. That would give him somethin' to do for the next couple months. (He'd have to work HARD to be an angel.)
Posted by Anonymous wilbur hucks : 6:28 PM
Never saw a singing christmas you guys hide behind the boughs or something?? Sounds like fun...Love the smell of evergreen boughs.... What?
Posted by Blogger Mid Stutsman : 5:57 AM
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