The Joy of December – Part 1

The Joy of December comes in the form of concerts! December offers ample opportunities to attend holiday concerts and programs. In a stretch of only 10 days, I have attended 6 events. How about you?

Kicking off this joyous spree was the Lights Before Christmas at the Toledo Zoo with my husband, Ted. Nearly ever tree and bush within the zoo is adorned with lights. There is also a section of flashing lights that is set to music. A rotation of 4 of 5 holiday songs repeat throughout the night.

First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI.
First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI.

The very next night we attended An Organist’s Christmas, a concert presented in conjunction with the Ann Arbor Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. The program was hosted by First United Methodist Church of Ann Arbor and also featured the Ann Arbor Boy Choir. Three organists played solo pieces as well as accompanying Christmas hymns sung by the choir and the congregation. We had a flat tire when we came out of the program which added some extra excitement to the night!

Our next event was attending Messiah at Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor, MI. An outstanding performance by the four soloists, the University Musical Society (UMS) Choral Union and the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra. Much to my delight the pipe organ was included and well played by organist Scott VanOrnum. The music of Messiah brings me great joy! I feel so strongly about this oratorio, that I believe everyone should attend a performance of it at least once. Add it to your someday list!

That same evening, I attended the Lessons and Carols service at Adrian College. Attending this concert has become an annual tradition. According to the Adrian College website, the capacity of the chapel is 1,000. The sanctuary was nearly full. The music was played by the Adrian College Symphony Orchestra and sung by the Adrian College choir. The organ was also played for the hymns and perhaps the Hallelujah Chorus (from Messiah). My favorite part of the evening was the two congregational hymns – “O Come All Ye Faithful” and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”. The joy of hearing and being part of a large number of people singing together is truly amazing. And it’s even better with the pipe organ encouraging us to lift our voices!

The Joy of December Part 2 is coming soon and I will discuss 2 more events.

What programs/concerts have you attended this holiday season?

It's not any harder to play it right - November 2013 Lesson
The Joy of December - Part 2 - Handel
Website | + posts

Heidi Bender writes about her experiences of learning to play the organ. She started on the adventure in 2009.

She also writes on her website Tons of Thanks, which helps people write thank-you notes. Heidi is also a cat lady who writes at The Joy of Cats.

8 thoughts on “The Joy of December – Part 1”

  1. It’s a zoo around here but no concerts. 🙂 I wish we had more nearby. Mostly church musical’s here. I am glad you are enjoying that.

  2. Heidi I know you really enjoy all these concerts. All of them sound wonderful when you tell
    me about them. I really should attend more of them with you. It is nice you also take the organ or pipes pictures too.


Leave a Comment