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.
December 2022
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23 visits to the hospital

A little checking of my records this evening revealed that tonight’s carolling session at the Royal Hobart Hospital with TUMS was my 23rd: I’ve been there every year since 1989 except for 1998 (when I was overseas). Although I stopped singing formally with TUMS in 1999 when I moved to Melbourne, doing “the hospital gig” is an important part of my Christmas tradition. In addition to being able to perform a small act of service to those whose circumstances see them stuck in hospital over Christmas, it’s nice to be able to sing quite a few carols in four-part harmony. I just rock up each year, and hope the current TUMS members will let me tag along.

The repertoire was a little limited tonight, because TUMS is re-establishing its Christmas repertoire (from the traditional TUMS red book), and so there were more than the usual number of repeats and some old favourites were omitted. Unfortunately, it seems that Adam Lay Ybounden is now a tradition of the past, as it is a few years since it has been done (the last good version I took part in was 2008, I think). I may be the only person left who knows it and I suspect it may not be revived despite the fact that it used to be a self-indulgent staple that we treated ourselves to in one of the acoustically awesome stair-wells in the hospital. Adam Lay Ybounden is a 15th century text given a contemporaneous-sounding musical setting by Boris Ord (to my surprise I have just discovered that Ord was actually a 20th century composer, whereas I had assumed he was himself late medieval), and it’s fun to sing and can sound great (click here for a semi-randomly selected YouTube rendition). I fear, however, that it may have echoed in its last stairwell.

When the gig was advertised on facebook the instructions were to wear your TUMS T-shirt. As you can see in the photo, with the exception of the minister who guided us around, everyone did … although if you look more closely at the top left, you’ll see that I am wearing the archival version of the TUMS T-shirt, which is about 20 years old and a little bit different from the current version.

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