Every Christmas my stake puts on an enormous creche festival. It runs for 3 nights and people can wander around looking at the hundreds of nativities on display or they can listen to the musical numbers the community puts on and there are poinsettias and twinkle lights and a miniature town of Bethlehem and cutout plywood sheep and it's big, big, BIG. The grand finale is the Hallelujah chorus. The music is passed around and everyone joins in and sings. And this year I have to play the piano for it.
And I'm trying really hard to not curl up and die. Because this sort of thing terrifies me.
You see, I have fooled everyone into thinking that I can play the piano well because I can play the hymns well. But I play the hymns well because I've had 20 years of practice. And, hymns are easy. The Hallelujah chorus = the opposite of easy.
Now, there are some things to be thankful for. The first and most important is that I don't have to play it on the organ. Because you can't imagine how many heart attacks I would have if I had to. The second is that the missionary choir will be the last group to perform which means they will be up on the stand and everyone knows that the one thing missionaries are good at besides eating their weight in lasagna is singing really loud. So I'm hoping they will drown me out. The third is that when people sing the Hallelujah chorus they either know it and sing it with gusto, no matter how muddled the piano playing is, or they don't know it and are so engrossed in keeping up that they don't pay attention to the pianist passing out.
I will tell you this, if I do make it through without passing out, I will shimmy with joy.
In other musical news: My Reign of Terror on the organ has come to an end. The good people of my ward can give a collective sigh of relief. Although I secretly believe that they will miss my super slow rendition of "True to the Faith"* and my sometimes questionable stop combinations. Don't worry folks, once an organist, always an organist. I'll be back.
*The Hardest Song in the Hymnal. Also, the Song Our Chorister Loved to Have us Sing on a Regular Basis until I Put the Eternal Kibosh on Her Ever Choosing it Again.