Sunday, December 06, 2015

Holiday Hymns for Hounds - Union Square, 12/5/2015

Well, I think I may have a new holiday tradition to add to the seeing-the-windows one I've been doing with a friend for years. It's funny, I get annoyed by the force-fed holiday music in the stores this time of year - but boy, I do still love actually singing Christmas carols! Actually I really enjoy choral singing in general; I didn't grow up doing it but I somehow fell into singing with the very good choir at Brick Presbyterian Church when I was living on the Upper East Side, did that for a few years but then when I moved to Brooklyn, it got harder to get up there, and then when I took up paddling, I finally let it go after a few tries at singing and then joining in something on the water proved that that was trying to squeeze too much into a day. Having moved farther out into Brooklyn, I don't think I would've stuck with the choir even if I hadn't gotten into wanting to spend my weekend time out on the water, but it was something I did like doing and I was sorry to have to let it go. 

I especially enjoyed the holiday singing, though, so when my much more singerly friend Vicky posted a Facebook link to an article with non-touristy ways to celebrate Christmas in NYC that included the Messiah performance her group, the Queens Oratorio Society, performs, and mentioned that she was also going to join in on the Holiday Hymns for Hounds, I jumped in on that as soon as I was sure that I would be done enough with my forecast marathon at work to make it to rehearsals. It turned out that I'd already missed the first rehearsal by the time I was sure of that (oops), but the way the Facebook group for the event was worded, it sounded like as long as I could make the second one, it would be fine.

Rehearsal itself ended up being "plenty good fun", to borrow a phrase from my youth in Hawaii - here was my Facebook post about it: Only in Brooklyn. In Studio C, a bunch of people practicing Christmas carols to get ready to raise some funds for NYC animal rescue organizations (Union Square at noon tomorrow). Two studios over, Sean Paul and Busta Rhymes doing something rap-tacular. Gotta give a little shout-out to Complete Music Studios - you'd think that the ordinary folks might get short shrift when the actual rock stars are in the house. You would think wrong, they totally took good care of us! Fun night, looking forward to singing again tomorrow! Union Square at noon!

And the singing was great fun, and we got to play with the pups for whom we were raising funds, and we raised $200 for Mighty Mutts and Ollie's Place with an hour and a half or so of singing, and then we went up to the cafe in Whole Foods for some thawing-out (it was actually a lovely warm day but usually when I'm outside in the wintertime I'm doing stuff, so I totally underdressed for two hours of standing still), then Vicky and I went and looked at the sparklies in the holiday market, and tried a slice of crack pie (no actual crack involved, just addictive levels of butter and sugar, yumyumyum) it was just a really, really fun day.  

Here's Vicky and me - happy happy! I think this photo that Vicky took and posted is the first social-media sighting of my chemo 'do, short enough that I don't have to do much with it - haven't noticed any shedding so far but treating it gently is supposed to help, plus I've been getting surprising numbers of compliments! My foot-long ponytail is sitting in the living room waiting for me to send it to the hair donation folks, it'll get there eventually. 

Here are some of the hounds!

This is Rita. So cute, so sweet, does the adorable head tilt when you chirp at her, and if my life were currently in a form that would allow dog ownership I think I might have been making inquiries.

"I'm Copper! I'm a hound dog!" Copper shows off his shake-paws trick -

takes his treat politely

and finishes off with a happy ear-flappy shake.

Angelo with a couple of the carolers - not on the website but another very sweet dog. He's a leaner - if he liked you he would lean on your leg and then you couldn't walk away because he would fall over and you wouldn't want to do that, now would you? 

And here we are singing. There was talk afterwards of adding some Hanukkah songs to the mix next year, but this year it was all traditional carols and pop favorites - with occasional "dog lyrics" thrown in for fun. I had a great time, I'll be back for this next year if the young women who organized it run it again! BTW, prize for longest distance travelled to sing here goes to the gentleman in the hat with the sign and the soprano in the red hat behind Vicky - they were visiting from Australia and they were totally going the non-tourist route - it was great having them join us! 


clairesgarden said...

love the video, very impressed!!

bonnie said...

It was a nice group & good singers!

Prize for farthest travel to participate went to the gentleman in the hat with the sign and the soprano in the red hat (behind my friend Vicky). They were visiting from Brisbane, Australia and they were doing the most amazing job of finding fun offbeat things to do. Lovely couple!