Gosh, I hope this happens every year. Our community held a dramatic reading of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” on Saturday. Local actors and literati (both defined in typically broad, earthy Slocan way) read the various stages. Some of the readings were truly excellent.

The performance was a fund-raiser for a decrepit community hall that is gradually being renovated and is now somewhat functional. The local Suzuki string ensemble was asked to contribute a little music to open the program. We chose to do an arrangement of two movements of “Winter” from Vivaldi’s “The Seasons.” We arranged it for soloist, 1st, 2nd & 3rd violin sections, and viola sections, not having any celli or bass players amongst us. The two senior violinists, Erin and her also-unschooled friend J., played the solos for the two movements. In the above photo they’re coming forward for a bow. Left to right: Erin, her grandmother, D., Sophie, J., W., Noah and myself. Noah and Sophie are naturally mostly hidden behind their music stands, being the most vertically-challenged of the group.

There was a wild and wooly devolution into a few strange harmonies just before the recapitulation of the Allegro movement due to the 3rd violins skipping a few repeated quarter notes, but I was proud at how everyone, especially my own kids, responded and recovered the required togetherness with total professionalism. We finished with a four-part chorale arrangement of “Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming.”

I have a video of a rehearsal which, if I can download the right software, I’ll be able to capture, edit, compress and post here.

“A Christmas Carol” was very much enjoyed by my kids. Oddly, though they’ve seen the Alistair Sim movie version several times, I’ve never read the story aloud to my kids. They all suggested that it would be nice if the community reading was an annual thing. Here’s hoping!

Winter performance

9 thoughts on “Winter performance

  • December 4, 2007 at 9:27 am

    ~ I suppose if you hit a glitch in the video download you can always have Noah figure it out!! ~smile~

    .. I am so envious of the culture in your small community.. we too chose to live in a small town, about an hour from Raleigh , NC… but the place is totally void of culture. Chewing tobacco, raising hunting dogs and picking a NASCAR driver seem to be it. I grew up in a small town much like your community, Yellow Springs O. Unfortunately the dear college there, Antioch, is shutting its doors for a period . I hope it doesn’t lose its flavor !!
    ..I love your holiday ideas…

  • December 4, 2007 at 10:55 am

    I love the Alistair Sim version! There’s a local rep group putting on the play, so I’m reading the kids a “childrens” version of the story, and then taking them to see it.

    Can’t wait to see a video!

  • December 4, 2007 at 12:42 pm

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Fiona in the lineup next year…

  • December 4, 2007 at 1:15 pm

    Can’t wait for the video!!!!!

    memories of summer in New Denver come flooding back.

  • December 7, 2007 at 7:39 am

    Are you using Windows Operating system? (or Apple Mac?). If Windows, you would have Microsoft Moviemaker, which you can use to process your videos.

    I think apple mac uses quicktime to edit, but I’ve learnt how to do that using moviemaker too.

  • December 7, 2007 at 10:18 am

    The problem is that we already have Adobe Premiere Elements, a brilliantly featured movie editor, but it won’t install on the computer that has the video capture card. So I have to capture and then transfer to edit, and since the computers aren’t networked and don’t have compatible burners (the one burns DVDs but the other only plays CDs) I have to compress the file enough to get it on a jump drive to carry it over, and I just haven’t had the time to fuss around with that yet (been dealing with fruit and nuts, Christmas baking, etc.).

  • December 7, 2007 at 7:47 pm

    No idea how big. I haven’t yet captured it. It’s on a long videotape that I want to capture in toto and use as the backbone for a DVD Christmas gift. It’ll probably be 1GB or more in its raw form. I’d prefer to keep it in raw form before working with it in Premiere as I want to keep the quality high for DVD. I don’t want to duplicate all the capturing, editing and transferring once for the web and once for the DVD. I just need to carve out an hour or two to do it properly once.

  • December 7, 2007 at 8:25 pm

    I was thinking that you could transfer it using a USB thumbdrive instead.

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