Voices together, voices pure. Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass combine creating a singular sound that is mystically liquid, nourishing one’s drought stricken soul. This beauty, this passion flows, piercing hardened parched crust, invading dark crevices, lighting on seeds. The listener’s joy is now free to sprout, then to burst forth, a lush vibrant green. Free to reach skyward and welcome the sun.
A sure way to warm the heart of a proud father and husband is for his family to make music with him. I am so lucky my family of singers* will indulge me for an annual recording. Whether they realize it, this is their Christmas gift to me, a treasure.
For the past several years our family has, rather than mailing Christmas greetings, offered a video featuring the major happenings through the past year. The soundtrack is always the four of us performing a holiday arrangement. The past couple of years we recorded four-part a cappella singing.
This year we chose an Albert Bert composition/arrangement. He had a family tradition as well. His father (an Episcopal pastor in Pontiac, Michigan) included a new carol each year in the cards he sent between 1922 and 1941. Alfred continued the custom from 1942 until his death in 1954. His last composition, “Star Carol,” was completed the day before his short life ended at the age of 33.
“Caroling, Caroling” may be his most famous carol. I hope that it will bring you even a tiny fraction of the joy it has brought me. Merry Christmas!
Anna Parrish, age 14 – Soprano
Karen Parrish -Alto
Scott Parrish – Tenor
Mark Parrish, age 18 – Bass/Baritone
*My wife Karen is a trained Soprano and has sung with the NC Master Choral for several seasons, son Mark is studying classical voice at UNC School of the Arts, and daughter Anna attends an arts high school studying voice and theater both in school and privately.