Saturday, December 07, 2013

Ukulele Christmas

We attended our ward Christmas party tonight, where our little ukulele choir performed two musical numbers.

Our first song was Away in a Manger (the arrangement from the Primary Children's Songbook). For this one we had the littlest kids (including Rachel and Miriam (who are on the front row, farthest left and farthest right)) focus on playing the C chord rather than switching to G7. There were so many changes in the song that it was just too frustrating for them. Rachel's been practicing and she's getting better.

Our second song was Jingle Bells, which I think the kids enjoyed playing more. It's a fun song. We had our littlest ones ring jingle bells during the song rather than play their ukuleles. It added a nice touch.

I'm on the back row on the left. My friend Laura is beside me. Our two little toddlers were at either side of the stage making a fuss. Laura's little girl can actually climb on the stage so she was quite distracting, sneaking past me to get to her mom, and mucking with her mom's skirt. Benjamin couldn't quite climb on the stage. He tried one side, then he tried the other side, then he went back and tried again on the other side. If you want the bottom right of the screen you can sometimes see his little hand grabbing at the chair legs, or see him throw his little white-shoed foot over the edge of the stage. He was getting pretty frustrated.

I think that's why Laura and I stood up first. We were feeling like we had to rescue those babies!

The rest of the program was wonderful. We know some very talented people!

We also had a little craft set up in the Relief Society room for the primary children to escape to when they were feeling restless. It got to be a little crazy in there with all the glue and markers and stamp pads with so few adult supervisors but the kids had fun going wild and for the most part they all followed the directions and came away with beautiful nativities.

And here's my friend Laura's little girl, who really enjoyed getting into the ink pads!

Rachel's favourite part of the evening was "playing the ukulele." Miriam's favourite part of the evening was "cookies." A fun time was had by all.


  1. I enjoyed hearing your songs and seeing your family. You know I always enjoy your pictures so it was fun seeing the people in the pictures move (and sing and play instruments). Benjamin is funny!

    P.S. I'd never heard that arrangement of Away in a Manger.

    1. I always thought that arrangement was unique to our church, but it's not. I suppose it's simply uncommon then. The music is by Charles H. Gabriel, who was a Methodist music director. Chances are the third verse was also written by him. I'm not sure why the tune didn't ever catch on.

      In the article about "Away in a Manger," it says that a "suggested tune" for the words (before there was a traditional tune for it, I guess) was "Home, Sweet Home" and I can see some similarities in the tune of that and the Gabriel's arrangement of "Away in a Manger."

  2. There are 41 tunes for Away in a Manger. I will send you the link to the article. Janet and I were researching it because she needed to do an authority record for one of the versions, so we were searching high and low! I had Megan scan a couple of versions that I had never heard before...maybe I will send you those, too. Janet and I think it would be way cool to collect all 41 and then publish them in an Away in the Manger Carol book. Can you tell that researching songs and composers has been a lot of what I do lately?