spreading the joy around, a little bit at a time

This year’s holiday season has been filled with the usual marathon of performances.  An early (for DC) snowstorm made the last week’s schedule rather challenging, and I almost didn’t make it out of our neighborhood to do three Kennedy Center shows on Sunday.  Thanks to some kind assistance from a couple of our neighbors, my husband was able to dig the car out and get me to the theater on time.  The looks on the kids’ faces when we entered through the audience was worth all of it.  We performed “Las Posadas” (No Room) for two small but enthusiastic audiences who braved the weather and made it to the the KC Terrace Theater.  That evening, we went downstairs to The Kennedy Center Concert Hall and walked down the long aisles singing as we began one of our annual Christmas Concerts.  Although the audience was only about 40% of normal, everyone had a great time.  There is something about beautiful music that transcends weather and inconvenience.

On December 23, I attended two concerts sung by The City Singers, the community outreach chamber chorus of The City Choir of Washington.  These were special shows for the tourists who visit DC for the holidays.  Many hotel guests brought their children to see the singers perform in the lobby of The Willard Hotel.  I sat among the kids and watched their faces light up as they joined in singing familiar carols.  I was pleased and honored to hear this group perform my special arrangement of “Jingle Bells” and loved the experience.  I bow at the feet of these performers who have sung in countless venues throughout the DC metro area, from nursing homes to retirement centers to hotel lobbies.  They are true heroes and do this out of the goodness of their huge hearts.

The singers and actors who join me in our annual performance race to the finish have an important mission in common: make the most people happy in the shortest amount of time.  The people I sing with have the biggest hearts in the universe.  They somehow squeeze time out of their impossible schedules to bring joy and laughter to others through music.

I wanted to do a little something in return for my fellow performers, so I made a ribbon wreath ornament for each of them.  I saw a video on YouTube that showed how to do this, then I added a bit of extra knotting on my own to make sure they stayed together.  Someone asked me how I found the time to make over 100 wreaths for singers, actors, crew members, and orchestra players.  How could I not?  Seriously, I made many of the wreath ornaments on the Metro, before rehearsals, during breaks, while having conversations with my fellow performers.  If all of these people could find the time to help spread the Christmas spirit, then I could manage to find the time to help make them feel appreciated for their talent and efforts.

Here is a photo of a small group of wreaths I made.  I cut and embossed cards as a presentation and personal Christmas greeting

A few of the 100 wreath ornaments I made for fellow performers this year.

I hope that this small gesture brought a little joy into the recipients’ lives and will help them remember what a wonderful thing they did for others this Christmas.  Just being around them brought joy to my heart.

Posted on December 25, 2009, in observations, perfomring for the heart. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. That was a nice unexpected surprise! What a big job. They look like they will last for years. Thanks so much. I hope you get some time to relax before we all start up again.

  2. Dear Sopranoannie,

    Lovely gesture! I agree with you about music and Christmas. The happiest Christmases of my adult life have been those that included singing with Maestro Robert J. Shafer, Jr., over the last 19 years–first with the Oratorio Society of Washington, which then became The Washington Chorus, and now with Bob’s newest choir, The City Choir of Washington.

    This year, The City Choir’s Christmas concert was fortuitously scheduled for December 13, well before 17 inches of snow blanketed the Greater Washington, DC area. Our full house included many children who rather shyly came up to the stage at National Presbyterian Church to sing their very own verse of “Silent Night” while the choir hummed quietly along. Those moments, combined with Pinkham’s “Christmas Cantata,” traditional carols the audience sang with us, and a long list of other gorgeous Christmas songs, were the highlight of my Christmas.

    The music is till running through my head, and will do so until we start rehearsing for the next concert. While I shoveled snow, wrapped presents, tromped through knee-deep drifts to check on the neighbor’s cats, our music was with me.

    I know it brought a lot of joy to our audience. It continues to bring joy to me. And in my spirited mood, I hope that joy makes its way into the hearts of those around me.

  3. awesome site.
    thank you for sharing

  4. Thank you so much for this Freebie. I want to let you know that I posted a link to your blog in CBH Digital Scrapbooking Freebies, under the Page 5 post on Feb. 20, 2010. Thanks again.

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