This past Monday a friend came to the City rather unexpectedly, so I threw an impromptu party for ten on 24 hours notice and I can't remember when I had so much fun. Most of the guests were friends from my Westminster Choir College days, so it was no surprise that we sang Christmas carols and anthems from sight in four part harmony after a homey dinner of Mac & Cheese (toast the mustard seed and use heavy cream!), Rustic French Pork and Chicken Pâté, Salad Greens with Goat Cheese, Dried Cranberries and Toasted Pecans in Mustard Vinagrette and Apple Bourbon Bundt Cake.
John Rutter's Nativity Carol made an appearance as did The Twelve Days After Christmas (Silver) which still makes me laugh though I learned it in High School. And refuting the perception that singers can't read music or play the piano, Muzetta, our guest of honor, transposed O Holy Night (Adolphe) into the soprano key for another guest using my low version and glorious high notes soared to the ceiling. She also accompanied Musetta's Waltz from memory. The joy and talent in the room overflowed as much as the champagne and wine, my friend and colleague Paulo calling to mind the Land of Song with a wonderful Prosecco.
Yes. I was cajoled into singing Johanna from Sweeny Todd (Sondheim) and Some Children See Him (Burt) but can't be objective about my efforts since my perception was undoubtedly affected by tiny bubbles. Oh but it was fun! When we weren't singing, holiday tunes were spinning in the CD player, which contained Nancy LaMott's album Just in Time for Christmas (you can hear one of the cuts here) as well a cracker jack What if Mozart Wrote Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
That the evening glowed only points out that that sometimes you just have to make merry.