December is only three days away! Stores are decorated, trees are coming out of storage, decorations are being unwrapped and arranged, cookies are being mixed, stockings are being hung, and hopefully…children are being good as gold, in anticipation of what will be under the tree the morning of December 25th. And all this is done, of course, to music. A question, for those of you who read my blog each week- What is your favorite Christmas carol? (Please do post comments and let me know!) Are you a fan of religious carols or the more secular ones? Do you turn up the volume when you hear Jingle Bell Rock or change the station when Springsteen sings Santa Claus is Coming To Town. ( I must admit, that is NOT my favorite carol!) How many of you, singing in your cars on the way to and from work, strain to hit that high note in O Holy Night?
Christmas carols are a key element of the season; we each have our favorite and perhaps our favorite song is linked to a treasured memory of a Christmas long ago. Time Magazine did a study of the most popular Christmas carols, based on how often each song has been recorded since 1978. The result? “Silent Night,” it turns out, is not merely the most popular carol; with 733 copyrighted recordings since 1978, it is nearly twice as dominant as “Joy to the World,” a distant second with 391 records to its name. I thought it was wonderful to see a traditional, religious carol take that top spot; I much prefer Silent Night to All I Want For Christmas Is You, which seems to be on the radio every time I turn it on lately.
Christmas carols of a religious nature are an important part of our holiday spirit, as they serve to remind us of the true meaning of Christmas. Without What Child Is This?, Angels We Have Heard On High, O Little Town of Bethlehem, and We Three Kings, to name a few, some of the real magic of Christmas would be lost. We need to hear these songs to remind us of our primary reason for Christmas; the celebration of the birth of the Savior. Of course, we need to hear some childhood favorites too; Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Up on the Rooftop, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, because they help us remember the Christmas memories of our own childhood and of how Santa made our dreams come true. White Christmas, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Holly Jolly Christmas all play a part as well; they can encourage us, when we have been standing in lines; to pay for gifts, to mail packages, to see Santa, to keep our spirits up and to really appreciate all of the merriment that goes along with The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. Music is a big part of the magic of Christmas.
Nobody knows that better than Mr. Joseph Napoli and the Saint Dominic Academy Glee Club. For 38 years, our now iconic Christmas concert has been setting the mood of the season. I remember going to see the concert when I was in high school; I had friends performing. I remember seeing it in college, when my cousin sang with Mr. Napoli, and my first Christmas as a member of the SDA administration, my daughter was lucky enough to be invited to sing with the Glee club as they performed a medley from “Frozen” at their concert. For those of us connected to Saint Dominic Academy, we know that Christmas would not be Christmas without this musical event.
This year, the Glee Club and the Dominoes will be spreading Christmas cheer throughout Hudson County, as they perform at the Tree Lighting at City Hall, the Cusack Care Center Christmas party, at pre-schools and at other holiday events. However, their showcase Christmas performance will be at our very own Christmas Concert, on December 11th at 4:00pm at Saint Aloysius Church. Combining religious, classical and contemporary pieces, this event is not to be missed. Mr. Napoli stated “ Great music never gets old…from the brooding atmosphere of Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” to…the Latin American rhythms of “Carol of the Star”…the Glee Club will…fill with joy this Christmas season.” If you believe, as I do, that music is the key to the season, then please join Mr. Napoli, the Glee Club and the Dominoes on December 11th and have all of the magic of Christmas unlocked for you! I hope to see you there!