Sunday, April 16, 2006

Today Was Totally Legit

First, let me wish a happy Easter to those who are celebrating, and a happy Passover for those who are so inclined (Dave Barry, who lives in a household that celebrates both, refers to the hybrid holiday as "Eastover"; it reminds me of the Jewish friend I had in college who put Christmas lights on a ficus tree and called it the Electric Hanukkah Bush.)

I played three services at church today. That in itself is not unusual, but the setting was: I was playing classical music (and second trombone parts at that!) on the tenor, and I think it was the first time I'd played in a classical ensemble on tenor in about six years, when I had some sort of gig accompanying a chorus.

Needless to say, it was very different, using my concert mouthpiece, playing only what was on the page, and trying my hardest to sound like a second trombone while blending with instruments that aren't usually in the ensembles in which I play (strings? Double reeds? A harp??). The closing tune we played was a gospel/funk sort of thing, and it would have really been tempting to just bust out with a wailing solo over the last chorus...oh, except for the fact that I wasn't mic'ed, that is. All in all, I was really happy; everyone played well with a minimum of rehearsal, the arrangements were actually quite good, and the congregation (oops, I almost typed "audience") really enjoyed it.

Something really cool happened after the last service. My church is known for some elaborate props on occasion, and today there was a big bridge across the front of the stage. People were invited to walk across it after each service (to symbolize the abandonment of our futile efforts to build a bridge to God with our own accomplishments, when God took care of that already with the sacrifice of Christ), and they were still doing so when I ducked back in to take a closer look at how they had achieved the "rippling water" effect. Someone said, "Look up!" and sure enough, there was a guy at the top of the bridge on bended knee, proposing to his girlfriend up there...how ├╝ber-cool was that? It was way more inventive than getting on the big screen at the Rangers game. They'll be telling their grandchildren about that someday.

So I hope you had a great day today, spending it with family or friends or both. (In that vein, check out some brief holiday essays from two of my favorite bloggers, Dave Barry and Instapundit, each featuring a funny picture of the host.)

Happy Eastday; enjoy your cake and eggs: Happy birthday to Mom, whose birthday coincided with the other big holiday today. Someone at church asked her if that had ever happened before, and her (tongue-in-cheek) reply was, "I'm not sure; I've had so many birthdays!" I bet she'll consult one of those online perpetual calendars and figure it out once and for all.

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