Copyright © Janice Tracy, Mississippi Memories

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Advent Calendar of Memories - Day 21 - Christmas Music

I  absolutely love music. My taste is broad, running from classical to rock, to pop, and even some country. But Christmas music has always been pure magic for my soul. My first memories of Christmas music were from church where traditional Christmas carols were part of the worship service. Since my family regularly attended church, as a child I recall hearing Christmas carols such Silent Night, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Joy to the World, Away in a Manger, We Three Kings. When I grew older and started school, I remember singing carols that included Jingle Bells, Silver Bells, Frosty the Snowman, Deck the Halls. I don't recall our family listening to or singing Christmas carols at home.We did not own Christmas records.  In fact, we didn't own either a phonograph or records of any kind until I was in junior high. It is possible, however, that my parents and grandparents listened to Christmas music on the radio, but I don't remember it. After we became the proud owners of a 17-inch black and white television in 1951, I do recall that my entire family enjoyed watching performances of Christmas music on television.


When I began junior high school, my love of music caused me to join the school band, where I learned to play the oboe and the bell lyre. By ninth grade, I played the oboe well enough to try out for and to be selected to play in the city's junior symphony orchestra.  And it was through my junior high and high school bands, and and my hometown's Junior Symphony Orchestra that my love of music, all kinds of it, continued to grow and flourish.  Our high school band and the Junior Symphony Orchestra had annual Christmas concerts that included a variety of music, including classical and pop versions of many traditional carols. Practicing for and performing in those concerts were memorable times of my life. My love of music may have influenced two of my children to play musical instruments.  Two began taking piano lessons in elementary school.  My oldest daughter began playing the flute in sixth grade, and she continued playing throughout high school.  Now her own son is learning to play the violin in elementary school.  One of my sons also played trumpet in high school.  One of our favorite experiences at Christmastime was enjoying the hand bell choir at church. I can truthfully say that we all love music, and our tastes are quite broad.


As I grew into an adult, I began collecting record albums and CDs that included many genres of music, performed by a variety of artists. Many of these performances were of Christmas music. Some of my favorites include selections by a number of large symphony orchestras, music by Mannheim Steamroller, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and Elvis Presley's Blue Christmas.  Some of my other favorites include Christmas music by Josh Groban and Andrea Bocelli. The list goes on and on, and my love of music does, too.

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