Monday, Second Week of Advent
It is good to praise the Lord
and make music to your name, O most High,
to proclaim your love in the morning
and your faithfulness at night,
to the music of the ten-stringed lyre
and the melody of the harp.
For you make me glad by your deeds, o Lord;
I sing for joy at the works of Your hands.
For some people, the holidays begin with religious services or spiritual traditions. For others, it begins with seeing lights and decorations. For me, it has always begun with music. When I was little, I used to think music was the language angels speak. I don’t really still believe that, but I do know that music has been something that has defined my life for as far back as I can remember. So as soon as I heard holiday music on the radio, or as soon as Hamilton Choir began rehearsing songs for our Christmas mass, Advent began for me.
Christmas Eve is spent at my godfamily’s house in Redhook, Brooklyn. They always have close friends of theirs over as well, mostly adults, while the younger children run to their basement and cause their own trouble. My favorite part of the night is when my godmother goes to the piano, distributes thin black music folders to whoever wants one, and begins playing Christmas carols while we all sing along. Usually by that point I’ve talked so much already that my voice is half gone, but that doesn’t stop me from joining them. Often someone makes a mistake and we all laugh but keep powering through the song smiling with solidarity, love, and laughter.
Even when we’re done caroling, the music doesn’t stop. Their daughter, a junior in high school and a massive musical theater nut, joins me as I go to the piano and begin playing show tunes as she sings along. Maybe I play a common pop song everyone knows, something from the Beatles or maybe “What a Wonderful World.” Already guests begin leaving before she and I are done. The love we all experience in music around that piano is something that I look forward to every year and am never disappointed by.
Some friends say I’ve sold my soul to music. If I have, that happened many years ago, and I would never change that for the world. Especially in the Advent season.
--Dom Veconi ‘15