Every choir director has to do this. Nearly every choir I know of starts singing Christmas music before summer is officially over. “…walkin’ in a winter wonderland…”, “Joy to the world…”, “…pa rum pum pum pum…”, “I’m dreaming of a…” can be heard bouncing off the walls of music rooms around the country. Every choir and every director is working towards the climax of a holiday performance to rival the one before and honestly gives no thought to the very next Christmas just 12 short months away.
This year was no different. Everything was moving along as usual. Extra rehearsals, cramming lyrics, pounding out tenor parts. Everything was in order for the concert. No, not just one concert. Many concerts. Many singers. Many accompanists. Many audience members. Many moments and memories. None of them happened this year. I know it sounds dramatic, but have you worked for months on something that at the very last minute is cancelled?
On Sunday at noon it was announced that our church choir concert had been cancelled. On Tuesday at 9 am the e-mail went out that informed everyone that the Voices of Hope Choir benefit concert was cancelled. On Tuesday night the ticker at the bottom of the TV screen notified us that school was cancelled which meant the 1st grade Holiday Concert would be cancelled as well. Wednesday night the same news told us the High School Concert was cancelled and Friday at 5:30 am a text message let us know the concert would not happen tonight either.
Though choirs have been singing Christmas songs since the end of summer they don’t really want to sing them after Christmas. Rescheduling a Christmas concert seems kind of silly. The church is going to try it. Voices of Hope Choir will not. Your guess is as good as mine as to what the schools will do. But right now we are just a bit sad that this was the year without a Christmas concert.
The widespread reason for the cancellations…the beautiful winter white snow fall and the below freezing temperatures. Not since 1979 has it been so cold for so long. Rarely does Portland see snowfall before the biggest holiday of the year. It’s not too often that a snowman can be made on the lawn of Tualatin home. But it happened the year without a Christmas concert.