Christmas music joys

Kaye Sullivan

MEEKER | I love Christmas in part because I love the joyful music that is part of this season. I dig out my well-worn holiday music and start playing my piano even if it is only for me because the sounds are so comforting. The old familiar tunes bring back memories of years gone by and songs we can sing by memory.

Now, as the part time pianist at the Methodist church, I get to record music from our three hymnals that add up to more than 1,200 choices. Well, not all of those are Christmas music, but there is plenty to choose from.

Since the church is closed, I will miss playing Christmas Eve duets with Mary K Kruger that was always a treat or playing anything at a live service. It’s not the same without the congregation singing and candles on Christmas Eve, but somehow, I am motivated to try to play better to help make these online services an excellent substitute for the live events.

My piano music is sparse and thus I appreciate using an online service of sheet music that sells books and immediately downloadable pieces. For example, when I heard on the radio Bill Wither’s song, “Lean on Me,” I wanted to play it. So, I searched this site and in just minutes was printing a piano version of this music.

One of the gifts we have during this pandemic is unparalleled virtual resources. I listen to Pandora music all the time while I work or cook. Starting Dec. 1, I switch to Christmas music for most of the month. I listen to many musicians and varieties of music and always find something new to entertain me.

Sometimes I set aside time to listen to the entirety of Handel’s “Messiah.” This is profoundly serious music and the performing choir and orchestra practice endlessly to sing this challenging music. Recently, I appreciate Pentatonix who is a more modern group and performs music in unique ways. These two examples are quite a stretch apart in style, yet I enjoy them both for different reasons.

I will miss listening to Meeker’s community choir this year. They are a huge joy of gathering together various voices from our town and melding them into lovely productions.

But even while recovering from COVID, music brings me joy and as I heal, I can play a little.

Yes, our traditional Christmas traditions are falling by the wayside during COVID. But music is still out there to comfort us and provide a wee sense of normality.

Special to The Herald Times