Music is pretty plentiful at Christmas time. Students-from Kindergartners through high schoolers-present their holiday programs, including many familiar Christmas songs at this time of year. Churches offer special music to celebrate Christ's birth during the month of December. Local radio stations began playing seasonal music, interspersed among the regular line-up, as soon as the Thanksgiving turkey has been cleared from the table.
Songs are a way to celebrate. Within a week, I was in attendance at two special concerts celebrating the joys of music.
Last Tuesday, I attended the Emmetsburg Middle School Fifth and Sixth Grade Bands' Holiday Concert over the noon hour. The Fifth Graders were certainly entertaining to watch as they played four Christmas tunes. Yet it was the Sixth Grade Band that I was most interested in.
Our 11-year old, Alex, plays trumpet with the Sixth Graders. I may be biased, but those kids sounded great! It's hard to believe that they have been playing together for a little over a year.
Their "Trumpet Voluntary" sounded good enough to be announcing the bride's arrival at any wedding. And "Elves R Us" and "Santa's Quantum Mission" featured exciting music with fun percussion. You could tell the students had worked hard at rehearsing together.
As always, I was proud of my eldest son. But Alex isn't the only musician in our home. One-year old Jacob proved that, while the musical gene may have skipped my generation, it is quite apparent in the new generation.
On Sunday, Alex was cleaning out his room and found an old harmonica that he doesn't play much anymore. He asked if he could give it to Jacob to play with. I looked it over, and approved.
Within moments of being handed the instrument, Jacob had the harmonica to his lips. He quickly realized that if he breathed in and out of the harmonica, it made noise. I think he suddenly understood that he was making this sound, and he pulled it away and grinned from ear-to-ear. Soon, he was playing for longer periods, and after each little "song," we would applaud his performance enthusiastically. It was at this moment that Jacob turned into a performer. When we'd clap after his "songs," he would dance excitedly, shouting at the top of lungs, and grin broadly.
Fortunately, both of these concerts were captured on home video, and Rich, being a proud dad, uploaded the videos to YouTube to share with family and friends. If you want a glimpse of these talented brothers, check out the links below.
Who knows, one day years from now, we just might be attending a performance featuring the Hall Brothers-that's Alex, looking so cool in a pair of Wayfarers over there blowing on trumpet. And there's Jacob, the one with the crazy, sticky-up hair, blasting it out on harmonica. They're quite a pair.