Friday, December 3, 2010

Advent 2010 Musings

Well, hello there Mr. neglected blog!

I am hoping that my blog silence recently is just a result of being busy, and that the urge to write again will resurface in the coming month.

Every year I tell myself that this December will be different, I'll cut back on projects and focus on being home more often.  This definitely hasn't transpired this season.  Not that I'm complaining about having work, there really is no better thing than being an employed musician, and certainly this time of year is when we pull in the most of it.  See my previous posts on "musical prostitution", the term I give to the sort of grunt work we do over the month of December, which does help put money in the cookie jar, but aren't necessarily glamorous.

I hadn't planned on doing much of this sort of grunt work, keeping Christmas mall caroling down to just three Saturdays.  However, that has just increased to 15 hours of caroling over the holidays, as my quartet just signed a contract to sing on the concourse of every Edmonton Oilers home game this month (six in total).  I made a decision a few years ago that I would no longer do quartet caroling, unless it paid VERY well.  I'm happy to say, that all these gigs do pay VERY well.  They do however cut deeply into my personal time, so I will have to evaluate at the end of the month if it was worth it or not.  Right now though, the caroling is funding our yearly trip to Jasper Park Lodge, which I am counting the days!

On top of the caroling, there is the "real" stuff I am doing as well, including another Pro Coro concert next weekend, our Da Camera Singers concert on the 19th, our first Christmas concert in nearly six years, and a charity conducting gig at the Winspear for the Christmas Bureau.  Plus, there's my church job!  We had a most successful Advent Carol Service last weekend, and now we are on cruise control through the next three Sundays of Advent until Christmas.

As a church musician, this is the worst case scenario for the placement of Christmas (on a Saturday). For me, it means three services Christmas Eve (24th) one on the morning of Christmas Day (25th) and then, as the 26th is a Sunday ... One on the morning of the 26th!  I am blessed however to have an assistant organist and a volunteer organist who will take care of the 25th and 26th for me, so I'm only on the bench for the three Christmas eve services!

The other happy thought of the day is that University teaching ended for me yesterday!  One final exam to mark and the semester is over until January 6th!

Wishing you all an advent full of hope, peace, joy and love!

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