HO! (sigh) Ho! (sigh) ho. (deep sigh). It is tough to get into the holiday spirit this year, eh? Well this Klaus has a mixed bag of drivel for your holiday enjoyment. (Featured Photo by Tom Klaus: The Icelandic Yule Lads at The Pearl in Reykjavik, December 2019)
What Did She Say?
Actually, this is really cool. A 17-year-old student in Fort McMurray, Alberta (nearly as far North in Alberta as you can get…but not quite) entered and won the Breakthrough Junior Challenge. Not a small deal. She won a $250,000 scholarship for herself; $50,000 for her high school science teacher; and a $100,000 award for a new science lab at her school. How’d she do it? By explaining a complex scientific concept to drivelers like me. You can see Maryam’s award winning entry below.
From Brilliance to This…
Now Back to Something Really Sublime…
Each year for the past umpteen years Clemencia and I have attended a performance of Handel’s Messiah sometime in December. We’ve seen it performed by the renowned Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at the Meyerhoff. We’ve seen it performed by the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. We’ve seen it performed by the U.S. Naval Academy Glee Club in the Naval Academy Chapel in Annapolis, featuring our friend and former neighbor, Danielle Talamantes. Last year we saw it performed by the University of Maryland Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Singers in College Park. Our favorite, however, which we have seen several times, is the rendition of the classic done by the National Philharmonic at Strathmore in Bethesda, Maryland.
We love the sound of music at Strathmore with its all wooden interior. And we especially love to hear Handel’s Messiah performed there by the National Symphony. Of course, it is not happening this year. Instead, the National Philharmonc is performing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons on this Sunday, December 20th at 2:00 PM in a physically distanced live concert. The concert is free to stream. You won’t be disappointed. The National Philharmonic has led the way in doing virtual performances during the pandemic. We’ve seen a couple of them and they are wonderul. Just navigate to this webpage, and scroll down to “How to Watch National Philharmonic.”
If old time and roots music is more your style (I love this as well as classical music), then check out the Common Ground on the Hill Holiday Concert Extravaganza, which will be broadcast live and free on its Facebook page beginning at 8:00 PM on Sunday, the 20th as well. Common Ground on the Hill is a Maryland Folk Life Center based at McDaniel College in Westminister. One of my dreams is to head off to Westminister (about 45 miles North of here) with my ukelele to attend their summer event in Westminister. For two weeks they offer all kinds of folk arts classes where I can study under ukelele virtuosos. Maybe next summer…or in 2022.
So, if you are looking for some special live holiday music, check these out. We hope to “see” you there!
The View from Jeff
You know, I’m not into wishing people “Happy Holidays” this year…which has been a pretty lousy, unhappy year overall all. This year Clemencia and I came up with a different holiday message for a very different year. We hope it speaks to you.
Be safe, be well, wear your mask, keep distance, wash your hands, and, in every way and every day, stand up for accountability, justice, and peace in our country and our world.