Tuesday, December 11, 2012

FESTIVE NOEL

Julia Shelby, a San Francisco transplant, started Mountain Melody Womens Chorus in 2005. A bright star in our mountain communities is this all volunteer group of about 18 women, singers all, with two piano players and a flutist.   Shelby chooses  innovative music, with intricate, lively and echoing harmonies. What a treat.
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Also a treat, is Casa Terra Cotta, this beautiful mountaintop estate, loaned to the Calaveras Arts Council for the event. I was  grateful for the sun, but the time of day was brutal for photos.
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I ran smack dab into my neighbor Judith, and friends I hadn’t seen in a couple of years, David and JoEllen Gano. A stranger grabbed my camera and offered to take a picture.
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What makes the estate so enchanting, is the marvelous windows surrounding you from every direction, providing the best views from the mountain top, at  the same time making picture-taking difficult.
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I concentrated on faces and the wonderful music. Dobru’ Noc, a Slovakian Folk Song
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This Little Light Of Mine.
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The Seal Lullaby
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Nothin’ Gonna Stumble My Feet.
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After the concert, we enjoyed desserts and wine punch and mingled with guests and members of the chorus. Michael VonErich sung the solo Mary Did You Know? Her deep resonant voice, and the words brought me to tears. I had to meet her, only to discover she is moving away from Mountain Ranch. She told me she grew up singing as a child with Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene, the guys who wrote the words and music to the song. What a talent she is. And what a loss to our community.
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Maddie and I walked the grounds and enjoyed the views.
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Some people stayed close to the outdoor fireplace.
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We all got to sing for Marta Johnson’s birthday, another old friend I hadn’t seen in years.
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On the drive home, Maddie and I oohed and ahhed at another birthday, these little newborn lambs on wobbly legs. We both wondered  why are these young lambs born in the cold month of December? We hope it isn’t from climate change, but in my yard I’ve seen a late fawn all through November. A strange year in so many ways.

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