Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Sweet Prospect: Music At Christ Church

I remember when I lived in Qatar, and Kuwait, and then Qatar again, how I would read about something in the paper – the day after it happened. The things I did go to – and there were some spectacular events in Qatar – were mostly word of mouth, a personal invitation, very few cultural events were well advertised.

Not so in Pensacola. There is a wonderful Symphony, truly wonderful. There is an Opera, and several theatres, and even a Pensacola Ballet. And there is Music at Christ Church.

Yes, I am partial. We attend Christ Church, and I always love a concert where the surrounding is so beautiful. Tonight’s concert was irresistible – hammered dulcimers. Hammered dulcimers! Some of the earliest music in our country was hammered dulcimer. Lucky for me, AdventureMan loves music, and was as eager as I was to go to this concert.

So off to church in the morning, then meet up with our son and his wife – who ran the half marathon today, HOOOO-AHH! And of course, our darling little grandson, who wants nothing to do with me these days, not when there is AdventureMan, the original fun-guy. Famous Dave’s Barbeque, a wonderful meal with a truly great waiter, patient, kind, didn’t mind a baby and four dawdling adults – good fun, good conversation, good food, and then off to the concert.

The sun started setting around 3:30, and the concert began in the dimmed church around 4. It was sheer magic. The group, Sweet Prospect, is so talented, and their music is so lovingly performed. Melissa Allured plays the recorder as well as most of the melodies in the selections they played today, Sheryl Bragwell plays the hammered dulcimer and a bowed psaltery, and Gary Diamond backs them up with guitar. They played a wide variety of tunes; Scottish, Irish, early American, even a very Wyndham Hill sounding piece from a Lopez Island (Washington State) artist Gary Haggerty, called Coffee American, which was lively and quick.

(angel playing Psaltery)

I have a complaint. The concert was only an hour long. I could have listened longer. But oh, what a wonderful hour it was! I love the Music at Christ Church program. There is a suggested donation for the concert, but if you can’t afford the $10 donation, no one is standing there scowling if you want to come into the church and hear some great music. There is a bowl out for collecting the donation, people toss their donation in and sit down. The concerts are also sponsored by several levels of music lovers at Christ Church who are patrons of the arts, and contribute generously so that these opportunities are available to the Pensacola community. How cool is that?

The good news is that on the Sweet Prospects website you can also listen to some of their recordings, and you can buy their CD’s. THIS IS IMPORTANT, ADVENTUREMAN! The one I really really want is called Cold Frosty Morn. If you go to their website, it tells you how to order it, or you can find one of the bookstores in Pensacola that sells it. (hint hint) It is Christmas music. If you want to go listen to a tune or two by Sweet Prospects, click on the blue type above, and listen away. 🙂 If you live in Pensacola, and you want to learn to play the dulcimer – or several other early musical instruments – there is a group that welcomes you and will teach you how. Learn to play hammered dulcimer – in Pensacola. I am blown away.

It’s just been such a great day, full of church, family and culture. We are so glad to be in Pensacola.

I just wish Sweet Prospects would be picked up to be sent on a cultural tour to our embassies in the Middle East. I wish our friends there, who love music, and who know the early musical instruments of the Middle East, could hear this music, and see these instruments, which are so similar. As I enjoyed every minute of this concert, I was wishing my Arab Gulf friends could be hearing it, too. This music is so American, and yet, you can hear the early strains of the Irish, the Scottish, and yes, even the sounds of the Holy Lands, brought back to Europe by the early crusaders.

November 14, 2010 - Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Community, Cultural, Customer Service, Eating Out, Entertainment, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Living Conditions, Local Lore, Music

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