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.
August 2020
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This year, thanks to the occasionally useful auspices of Facebook, I knew that TUMS’s Christmas eve carolling gig at the hospital was going ahead without having to wait until I actually turned up on the night.

I’m not entirely sure if Facebook is also responsible for the fact that there were about 30 singers in attendance, which must be pretty close to the record, at least in my 20 or so years of doing this. I have my suspicions, however, that some of them were ring ins … but then my claims of “belonging” are getting rather tenuous as well these days: it is, after all, nearly 13 years since I last sang with TUMS (the Tasmania University Musical Society) in any sustained capacity.

Anyway, the variously expert singers did their rounds of the wards, and if there was a preponderance of melody-line singers (not all of them were sopranos either) and a shortage of tenors and altos, then it didn’t matter too much.

Rudolph was attempted this year, but it became very apparent that there were good reasons for not doing it last year. There were only a few of us who knew the arrangement in the book, and although the arrangement actually works well (let’s face it: it’s a pretty silly song) it requires confidence and all four parts to carry it off with aplomb. Our rendition, in contrast, probably should have been just carried off. And fast. (I just hope it didn’t carry anyone else off. Like sick people.)

Fortunately most of the carols worked and were, as always, well received. I hopped from alto to tenor depending on what part was missing at my end of the procession.

The only real down side — and even this was kind of fun anyway — was that the stair-well rendition of Adam Lay Ybounden became a duet with me doing the alto line and the only real tenor doing the tenor line. Although it was a shame not to have the other parts, we actually did okay and it was an enjoyable challenge to hold the alto line on my own with just the other “inner part” for reference.

Maybe I should leave a message on TUMS’s Facebook page suggesting they practice Rudolf and Adam before next year’s gig!

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