Tuesday, November 26, 2013

My Favorite Sing-Along

One of my favorite holiday traditions is going to the Messiah sing-along at the Nixon Library.  It's put on by the Yorba Linda Art Alliance (not as cool as an art society.) and there's an orchestra, a full choir, and lots of people dressed up in period costumes.  Any period.  There were all sorts of old-timey clothes. Women in bustles and corsets.  Men in tri-corner hats and ruffly cravats.  Ugh, it's the best. And it's held in the full-size replica of the White House East Room.  It has this portrait of George Washington:

His expression kills me.  It's like he's saying, "Well, here you go. This is the best we could do." And then he shrugged right after. Maybe it's his teeth that are making his face like that.  He had horrible teeth.

I am happy to report that I didn't lose it as much as I normally do when we sang the Hallelujah chorus.  I mean, I still cried - I'm not a robot!- but I didn't blubber.  I managed to get all the notes out.  It helped that I was sitting next to Gina who was cracking me up.  Before we started she said, "Just so you know, I like to sing all the parts." And she did, including the really high ones which made me giggle every time.

Other things that made me laugh:  1.) when the conductor said, "This is a informal setting so feel free to express yourself," and all of us said, "Does he mean interpretive dance?" 2.) the woman who stopped my dad after the performance and said, "You have such a rich tenor voice," and he said, "No one's every said that about me before," and she said, "So you're not the soloist who just sang?" 3.) the twin sisters, both dressed in bustled frocks with feathers in their hair, who looked exactly like the evil stepsisters in Cinderella.  I wanted them to bust out into Sing Sweet Nightingale.

Along with being entertaining it is also a really beautiful experience to sing those songs. You know how much of a sucker I am for a sing-along.  This may be my favorite one.


Laura said...

Sounds glorious! And just so you know - I can't sing the Hallelujah chorus without crying either...and I'm not the masterful crier that you are!

Rach said...

The messiah is amazing. I always get teary the whole time, then the dam breaks during the hallelujah chorus.

Unknown said...

I have never noticed George' s expression in that painting, but your interpretation made me laugh out loud while feeding my baby at 3 am! Thank you Rachel...thank you.