Sunday, December 21, 2014

12/21/2014 The Cantata

(Arizona City, AZ)

Today at five o’clock everyone in the park is invited to meet in the Carnaval Room for the cantata that is being performed.

noun: cantata; plural noun: cantatas
  1. a medium-length narrative piece of music for voices with instrumental accompaniment, typically with solos, chorus, and orchestra.   
Today our church group, with some welcomed guests, is  performing a cantata.  I’ll be honest with you, I’d never heard this term before and didn’t know what it was other than there was singing,  Mary, Joseph, three wise men, a couple of shepherds and a baby.

I had been asked some time ago to photograph the performance and I readily agreed.  I hadn’t planned on spending half the night in the hospital though and I couldn’t let that get in the way.  Much to Bob’s dismay I went to the Carnaval Room to take the pictures.  I didn’t want to miss this.

I got there about 45 minutes early so that I could get some candid shots.  This cantata has been a long time coming.  It was supposed to have taken place last year but our director took ill and it had to be called off.  Nothing was going to stop it this year.  Everyone worked so hard at it, learning the songs, Joseph learning his part because the whole story was told by him.  Timing was so important because music had to be cued for the instrumental parts, the chorus and the solos.

A wise “man” checking out a menu from a local restaurant.

Mary getting finishing touches.

The “set”.



At 5 o’clock the Cantata started.

And the chorus lifted their voices in song.  Beautiful notes reached and floated through the hall.  They were perfect.


Joseph started his story.

The timing of speech, music and song was perfect.

I knew we had good singers in our park but to hear them all together, singing their hearts out, putting every bit of feeling in their beings into the performance was just simply amazing.  So much so that at one point the music was so sweet, so true, that it literally brought tears to my eyes.

I had heard the story of Joseph and Mary many times but this night, it was like hearing it for the first time.  Al Winters, as Joseph, was wonderful.  He took full command of this role and led us through the story with the audience hanging on every word.  Since this story was told by Joseph, Al had the only speaking part.  He was simply marvelous.

Sue, our Activities Directory, played Mary.

More pictures of the chorus.



The lady who pulled it all together, my dear friend Helen McGuire.

The young woman on the right of Pastor Carole who is in the forefront, is the McGuires daughter who flew in from Washington to perform in this cantata.  A strong voice was needed in this section and being her mother’s daughter she hopped on the plane to help out.

Now here’s  MR. McGuire doing a solo part.  This really was a family affair.

Gifts being delivered to the newborn child.



Wise (WO)Men

Joseph & Mary

What an incredible performance this was.

At the end, during a standing ovation and applause that went on and on, Helen was given these well deserved, job well done, flowers.

All I can say is….Cast and Chorus, BRAVO!

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