Dramatis persona*

helenhead Helen Chick

I've always wanted a bumper sticker that said "I'm a female, LDS/Mormon, Scout leading, geocaching, piano-playing, bicycling, mathematics educator with a PhD in maths ... and I VOTE"!

I think this makes me a minority group of cardinality 1!

* Since there's only one of me and "personae" is plural (I think), I've gone with dramatis persona.
April 2020
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The hospital gig

TUMSChristmasEveWhen I was at the University of Tasmania over a decade ago, working and doing my PhD, I used to sing with TUMS (the Tasmania University Musical Society). We’d do various concerts throughout the year, and then, come the festive season, we’d do carols in shopping centres and the like. The culmination of this sequence of gigs was the hospital gig on Christmas eve, where we’d sing carols around the various wards of the Royal Hobart Hospital for those unfortunate enough to have to spend Christmas there.

Despite the fact that I now live in Melbourne, when I come down to Tassie for Christmas I rock up to the hospital on Christmas eve in the hope that the tradition is continuing for another year and that I’ve got the time right. So far, so good. I know very few of the singers these days, of course, but the choir books are the same (just somewhat more dilapidated … although I hardly need one). One year, a long time ago, I think there may only have been 3 of us, which made it challenging to do four-part harmonies, but tonight there were nearly 20 of us, resulting in a rich four part sound and a long straggly line of singers processing around the place (with occasional timelag issues!).

We sang Away in a Manger quietly for the newborns, did Jingle Bells by special request in the children’s ward, sang gently in ICU, were joined from time to time by patients or nurses, skipped Rudolph (he provokes mixed reactions), did Carol of the Birds (solely because it is Australian, I suspect), did the trads and the less trads, and indulged ourselves in some stairwell harmonies (my particular favourite carol for this is Boris Ord’s version of Adam Lay Ybounden) … although (a) this usually leaves us gasping for breath and (b) tonight, in fact, I was taking the lift because I was pushing the guy in the wheelchair.

Anyway, it was a nice way to get to sing a range of Christmas carols in a choir, bringing cheer (we hope!) to others as well.

Same time next year, I hope.

3 comments to The hospital gig

  • Great to see the tradition of “TUMS does the Royal on Christmas Eve” is still alive and well. Last Thursday evening, the choir I currently sing with (the Beechworth Singers) did a similar gig at the Beechworth hospital, and it brought back fond memories of Eric the Cleric leading our band of merry choristers around the RHH on Christmas Eve.

    Tonight, I also get to sing lots of carols, but in the context of not one, but two, Christmas Eve Church services- Yackandandah has already happened, and now for Myrtleford at 11:30. πŸ™‚

  • Sounds lovely!

    I always think of you when I hear Adam Lay Ybounden.

  • Helen

    Caro: Eric wasn’t there this year. πŸ™ Didn’t get a chance to ask where he was, regrettably.

    Happy Christmas to you all.

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