Bethel University: Festival of Christmas

The bonus round for my less-than-48-hours in the Twin Cities last weekend was the chance to attend the Festival of Christmas. I participated (through the Women’s Choir) in this event all four years I was at Bethel and have many fond memories from rehearsals and performances.

So, once I knew I was going to be in town, I called the school to see if I could get a ticket. One ticket — anywhere. I got one…in Row M of the balcony. I was three rows from the back.  I’ve not been to enough events in this space to know what impact my being in the nose bleed had on my concert experience. I couldn’t hear as well as I would have liked. Might have been just me.

When it was all said and done — a lovely concert, for sure — I realized that I wasn’t all I remembered it to be. This, in spite of the fact that the hall is WAY better than the gymnasium where we presented it. This, in spite of the face that there is an orchestra now with strings…and the lighting is spectacular…and on and on.

For as good as it was, I was disappointed. At least until I remembered that I was comparing the experience of participating in a great musical event to the experience of observing. Choir v. Audience. As a member of the choir, I was intimately involved. I had the notes and words engraved in my heart and mind. I had a long-run of rehearsals where the messages of truth worked their way into me.

By the time we hit the gym floor–votive candles in hand for the processional–I was already nearly fully formed and only needed the weekend of performances to act like a metaphorical labor and delivery. But not so messy — most of the time.

I am so glad I went. If I’m in town on the first weekend in December another time, I ‘ll likely try to get tickets again. I bet I’d enjoy it more because I’d go with more realistic expectations.

Have you ever had an experience like this?

One thought on “Bethel University: Festival of Christmas

  1. Susan F. says:

    Yes, sitting in the audience anywhere makes me wish I was participating and not just observing. Happy memories of carrying the votives and cleaning them right along with you! Next time you come, maybe you could be a guest performer?

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