• Christmas Part 1: Patrick’s Concert

    I had so much fun being in Rev. Patrick’s Christmas Concert at the Community Church of Hope last week. At the end of the show, I got one of the best compliments I’ve ever received in my singing career: “You looked so happy up there.”

    Even though I don’t really celebrate Christmas, I love Christmas music. I can listen to it all year. The only person who loves it more than me is Patrick. When he asked me to be in his concert, I immediately said, “I’m in!”

    Then I asked, “What am I singing?”

    I’m a classically trained soprano so I figured he might want a classic Christmas ballad. He asked me to sing “Night Before Christmas” but then he also said he wanted me to sing “Welcome Christmas” from The Grinch and a new song – “Santa’s Solar Sleigh.”

    Only Patrick can get away with asking me to sing such a ridiculous song. I practiced it so much I couldn’t walk my dog without running lyrics in my head.

    Then Patrick said he wanted me to be dressed as Cindy Lou Who from The Grinch for the first half. I responded with “Do I get a petticoat with that?”

    Singing in Patrick’s Concert 2016

    Yes. Yes I did – a pink one.
    (For the second half, I got to be a human and wear a simple sapphire blue velvet shift.)

    The concert was so much fun. Unlike other shows I’ve done for Patrick, he had the vocalists on the stage the whole time. His piano was at center stage and the other vocalist, Joey, and I were off to the side on stools. I felt like we were the two old guys from The Muppets (without the jokes, just the occasional sideways glance at each other). When we weren’t singing, we had the best view in the house. From my vantage point, I could see Patrick’s eyes over his music, his foot on the pedal, and I could see inside the piano which is basically a reflection of his fingers. I was mesmerized when George played Ave Maria on his violin – his fingers and bow weaving a tapestry of sound. And it was all Christmas music so I knew every word, every note. I did everything but mouth the words – it was a fully body experience.

    And then there was the sing-along. Patrick never rehearses this part with us in advance. They’re songs we all know so he plays and we sing with audience. I threw in the harmony whenever I felt like it. After the concert, a friend said even when everyone was singing, she could hear my voice over the crowd. (I’m not sure she knew that Joey and my microphones were on for the sing-along.)

    I had as much fun experiencing others performing as I did singing in this show, and I can’t help but sway when I’m wearing a fluffy petticoat. I’m glad Patrick’s already put me on notice that he wants me in next year’s show.

    My other favorite holiday tradition – Christmas Part 2: Phoestivus!

  • Day 14/90 – Seeing Reverend Patrick

    Day 14 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? Getting to see Reverend Patrick Stout at Community Church of Hope!

    Photo courtesy of Community Church of Hope
    Photo courtesy of Community Church of Hope

    Now, I am not a religious person. I am definitely more agnostic than any other religious affiliation, despite being raised Catholic. So it may seem strange that I get excited about popping by a church on a Sunday morning to see the pastor.

    I used to be a parishioner at the community Church of Hope but it’s been years since I’ve attended services on a regular basis. Occasionally, Patrick still calls on me to help out at one of the events, like singing at the Christmas concert, and I’m always happy to do so. Although I’m not devoted to the biblical origins of many of Patrick’s sermons, I still find a value in listening to the message as a whole and so every few months I’ll popped by to listen to the sermon, say hello to Patrick, and disappear again, often without most people realizing I was there. (I like being stealthy like that.)

    Over the years, Patrick has become one of my closest confidants. He lovingly reads all my fucked up emails as I process the issues in my life, and offers suggestions and advice upon request.

    Sundays are usually my Susie Housewife day where I run errands and take care of house work. I knew I had a few errands to run in Central Phoenix, so I timed my travels so I could stop by the church and see Reverend Patrick between services. It’s always nice to catch up face-to-face, if only for a few minutes.

    In case you missed it: Day 13 of the 90 Days of Awesome – Campaigning with Kolby Granville!