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knit me more time...
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
holidaze in Maine

Tonight we went to a holiday concert at Portland City Hall. The holiday concert was a combination of Bell Ringers, some Organ playing, a choir, and a brass section. It was pretty fun- great music and the hall was filled with friendly Maine people. Everyone in Maine always looks familiar to me in a nice, homey way- even though I don't know all 1.2 million residents. Here are some concert notes...
  • The program had some great facts in it about the Kotzschmar Organ. I think organs are awesome- I love how they fill the entire room and I love watching people play them. This time I was close enough to see the organist's sheet music- 3 staffs of music, one for each hand and one for the feet. The organ player had a woman who was the "page-turner" standing next to him the whole concert, following along in the music and turning the pages. Funny though, that this woman was one of the smallest women I have ever seen, with very short arms. So, to turn each page was a major reach and almost stressful to watch her practically climb on the organist's lap to turn the pages. I wondered why she didn't have a stool to stand on- or maybe why they didn't pick someone with longer arms. Here are those "fun, fanciful and fascinating" (that's what it says, okay?) facts I promised about the organ:
    • "There are a total of 6618 pipes in the organ. If the pipes were laid out end to end, they would reach approximately 3.6 miles, or the distance of Portland's Back Cove Trail (I grew up here and the distance of that trail, and the trail itself is unknown to me)
    • The main organ chamber is 60 feet long, 16 feet deep and 40 feet tall-- large enough to hold 66 Ford Windstar Minivans. (huh? what is this a paid ad for Ford?)
    • The organ's wind chest has approximately 825 square feet of floor space. According to the Fire Department, up to 92 people could fit in there (even when the organ is playing). (say what?)
  • The bell ringers were awesome. There is something about bell choirs I love- I think it is that the music is deconstructed down to each note which I different person has to play in sync with everyone else. It is pretty cool to watch and fascinating to think about. They show concerts like this on PBS this time of year- if you see it on watch it for a couple minutes and you'll see what I mean. I only wish bell ringers played more concerts of not christmas music.
  • The program for tonight's concert included the lyrics to some christmas songs- some particularly religious ones (not like rudolph, or frosty or anything fun like that). What was creepier was that the program states "the audience is required to rise and sing heartily". Huh? Required? What are we, in church or something? And heartily? Just because it said that, I did not sing heartily at all.
I'll take some pictures tomorrow and post them. I know my travel photos couldn't nearly be as beautiful or fascinating as Nina's incredible travel photos, but there are some strange things here in Maine you ought to see. Like the giant moose made out of mufflers glowing with christmas lights. Nina's travel posts made me feel like I was traveling with her (I only wish!) so I'll try to make everyone feel like they're in Maine. I'll leave out the crazy family parts though!

posted by knit wit | 12/21/2004 10:03:00 PM

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