Kicking off the Christmas 2015 season

The first weekend in December has become one of my favorite weekends of the year. On the Friday of this weekend, Ted and I have made it a tradition to attend The Organist’s Christmas presented by the Ann Arbor AGO. Then on the Sunday, I attend the Lessons and Carols service at Adrian College. Some years we also squeeze in Handel’s Messiah which is usually performed this same weekend in Ann Arbor and Toledo.

First Presbyterian Church of Ann Arbor
First Presbyterian Church of Ann Arbor

The Organist’s Christmas

This year, the program was held at the First Presbyterian Church of Ann Arbor. Over 250 people enjoyed the program. Three organists played a few selections each. The Boy Choir of Ann Arbor sang an anthem and they also sang along with all of the hymns. The organ was front and center flanked by beautiful Christmas trees.

My favorite piece was the Richard Purvis arrangement of Greensleeves as it brought me back to my youth. Back then I was playing clarinet in my 8th grade band and we played an arrangement of Greensleeves. I also enjoyed hearing so many people sang the Christmas hymns!

A Service of Lessons and Carols

I decided to go early this year after sitting next to chatty college students in the back couple of rows last year. This year I sat in row 5! I had 45 minutes to wait but it was worth it as the people seated near me were not distracting.

Adrian College Lessons and Carols
Adrian College Lessons and Carols

Before the service began the Adrian College Orchestra played several Christmas songs. At the start of the service the choir filed in for the back (while singing). The pipe organ was played along with the hymns and the Hallelujah Chorus. The organ blended well with the orchestra. I am still amazed by the power of the pipe organ. Its music was not drowned out by the orchestra.

Both concerts made for a delightful way to kick off the Christmas season!

How do you kick of the Christmas season?

October 2015 Lesson - Gaining Confidence
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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.

3 thoughts on “Kicking off the Christmas 2015 season”

  1. Heidi I think it is great how you go to the free enjoyable holiday events that include organ music.
    I guess my holiday first gets kicked off with the writing out more than 100 Christmas cards. I like to do that project around Veterans Day. Soon to come are Christmas lists from kids and grandchildren. Maybe the real kick off is the my annual sibling shopping trip. Seems church services are extra nice in December. I especially like Christmas Eve services.

  2. Sounds like you have some great events in your area. Unfortunately, I just missed the Lessons and Carols I wanted to see for several not very compelling reasons. I’m determined to go see the University Christmas choir concert this week, however. In the past they’ve had a few numbers with the organ. Hopefully, that is the case again this year. Not a huge organ, but by far the nicest in my smallish town. Hey, I played clarinet in the 8th grade too!!

    • Hi Alan,

      I hope to make it to another Lessons and Carols on Chirstmas Eve. I am fortunate to live within 1 hour or so of churches and venues that continue to use their pipe organs. I hope you make it to the University Christmas concert this week!


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