Monday, December 19, 2005

A Very Raptors Christmas

It's been a long day and I'm exhausted. I'm about to have a cup of tea and watch the best Christmas special ever: A Charlie Brown Christmas. But first, I want to share my day...

This morning was the best gig I get all year. My Victorian Christmas Carollers sang at the Toronto Raptors' Christmas game at the Air Canada Centre. They always pull out all the stops for this game with lots of singers and dancers and stuff. For the last five years, I've been part of the entertainment, and for the last two years, it's been with my own quartet. Leo, Monika, Gerald, and I spent all yesterday afternoon practicing our favourite carols in four-part-harmony. We did some very traditional arrangements, like Silent Night and Good King W. And then we switched things up a little on some carols and threw in some descants. For these, the men would jump on the tune so I could wail on the top. My favourite are the funky carols we've arranged ourselves. We did our version of Joy to the World, that we've nicknamed "Funky Joy". We also worked out an arrangement of Blue Christmas with Gerald on a very Elvisy lead part.

We sang in the hour before the game. They always set up "Santa-Raptor" and some of the Dance Pack for photos in the Galleria, which is their gianormous lobby. {Um, yes I do believe 'gianormous' is a word!} They had us positioned near them, so it was a great location, but they used up the mics on some of the other performers, so we had no mics! Thousands of people walking past, and only the nearest could hear us! A little frustrating, but what can you do? We just sang our best and tried not to compete with the noise of the fans. The people who could hear us, loved us.

After our singing, they gave us seats for the game. This year, we sat up in the media gondolas. You know when they say "They're going upstairs to see if that's a point"? Well, we were in that very same upstairs! What a great time! They always give us passes to wear so we can wander around the ACC, and tonight, those passes are decorating the Christmas tree! It makes for a great conversation piece.

Tonight was our church's Christmas Carol Service. I love this service. All readings and music. It's always pretty awesome. The combined choirs sang Sussex Carol, and our choir sang an up-tempo number called Come to Bethlehem. Jen played piano, but we all added in maracas, tambourine, and finger cymbals. It was rocking! And people loved it, which is always lovely.

Two years ago, the All Peoples Korean Presbyterian Church started using our church building as their worship space, and tonight their choir joined the service. They sang O Holy Night in Korean. Just beautiful.

It's nice having Christmas on a Sunday. Now that we've reached Advent 4, we still have a whole week to prepare for the big day.

I don't really feel I have much more to say tonight. Linus and Charlie Brown are in the tree lot, and they've just spotted "the tree". Awesome!

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