December 19, 2022 by Carolyn Coleman

January 19, 2023

“Do You Hear What I Hear?”

The first sense that comes to mind for me during Advent is sound. Having sung in choirs for many years, the list of favorite songs of the season continues to grow. In elementary school we sang songs in Spanish around a piñata (quite a novelty for East Tennessee.) In high school French class, we learned to sing beautiful songs in French. Hearing “Il Est Ne” (He is Born) and “Un Flambeau, Jeanette Isabella” (Bring a Torch) will always bring the memory of caroling in the school hallways. Our high school choir learned, sang (and recorded) the Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah and the church youth group traveled to a nearby college to hear it performed with an orchestra. It was a magical, memorable experience. More recently, I gathered with other University employees in the stairwell of the Main(Tower) Building to sing familiar songs acapella. The acoustics in that stairwell, when we hit the first notes of “Joy to the World” always brought a chill and a thrill. Many people who had started to rush to lunch, stopped and listened for the whole hour and joined us as we closed with “Silent Night.”

I don’t complain when a local radio station starts playing Christmas music before Thanksgiving. I love that they include the oldies like those from Andy Williams, Bing Crosby, Gene Autry, Perry Como and even Willie Nelson. These bring a smile and take us back to those earlier, simpler times. Even Alvin and the Chipmunks “Christmas Time is Here” takes me back to one of my first records on my first record player.

My wish for you is that hearing the beautiful sounds of this joyous season puts a song in your heart.

Carolyn Coleman

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