The holidays are a wonderful time for live music - and for employment and playing opportunities for musicians!
As a musician, the month of December brings me to a lot of churches that are not my own, for Messiah performances, Christmas concerts, etc. Occasionally I've enjoyed the chance to play at my own church as well, but generally Christmas Eve finds me somewhere else. And I know that this is the case with my colleagues of many and diverse religions, or no religion at all, who are called upon to play in church performances during the holidays.
As with playing for weddings, I generally enjoy the opportunity to see how another group of people celebrates their spirituality and beliefs. One can get jaded as a musician, especially when things get busy, and the "just a gig" mentality can set in. It happens to me, too. But I have to say, a lot of my moments of spirituality during the holidays occur in the midst of the music, in churches that are not my own. After all, if I didn't have that tendency to get carried away by music, I don't think I would have devoted my life to the violin!
This year, the holiday has brought me to one church for some Messiah performances, another for a holiday concert, to an Alzheimers home for an outreach concert with students, then I'll play for a Christmas service. After that, music in a home, my friend Dr. Sloan's Messiah -- and after the new year I'll actually sing in the Boar's Head and Yule Log Festival in Cincinnati, where my sister and parents live. So much holiday music in a month!
What does this season bring for you, in terms of live music? Will you be playing at a church? Your own, or another, or a number of them? Will you experience live music at a church, as an audience member? Will you experience a holiday concert in a secular setting? Or maybe you create live music at home with family and friends!
You might be doing many or all - or none! - of these things, but please pick the answer that best describes what you will experience this season, and then tell us about it in the comments. And have a happy holiday!
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