A Very Unfortunate Covid Casualty

 

For 50 years, the University Unitarian Church in Seattle put on a Handel’s Messiah Sing-along, Play-along on the day after Christmas.  Yes, that’s 50 years!  They packed the sanctuary to the rafters with singers and orchestra, and anyone could come and sing or play, just for the price of a ticket.  The Messiah was a big fundraiser for the Lefty church’s music department.  The church ladies made cookies and punch, to refresh the singers and players between parts, and after three solid hours everyone was happily exhausted.  Both singers and players would come back year after year; we in the orchestra marveled at how well the pickup choir did on all the arias, recitatives, and choruses — sometimes we’d forget to play while listening to the singers!

In 2020, the Messiah was canceled, as indoor gatherings were prohibited.  For the first time in 50 years, the Church regretfully cancelled the Messiah, denying their music program a huge source of funds.  Well, this year’s Messiah has also been cancelled.  This is what I received last week in my email.

Handel’s Messiah

Sing-and-Play-Along

For 50 years, more than 400 singers and instrumentalists have performed Handel’s entire oratorio, all choruses and solos, every December 26th at University Unitarian Church.

Under the baton of Conductor Karen P. Thomas, this beloved annual community event draws singers and musicians from around the area and from a wide range of spiritual traditions.

So it is with a heavy heart, for the continued health and safety of instrumentalists and singers, we have cancelled the Messiah Sing-and-Play-Along for 2021.

Handel’s Messiah

Sing-and-Play-Along

cancelled for 2021, due to Covid

Our low ticket prices, our wonderful refreshments, our door prizes, our fabulous volunteers and our fast pace through the score have always made the Messiah Sing-and-Play-Along a fun holiday tradition.

We look forward to singing together again!

To stay in touch, please follow us on Facebook.

I’m very sorry they had to cancel again this year, but King County has instituted a Vaccine Mandate, requiring all indoor concert venues to admit only those who can prove that they have been fully vaccinated against the CCP Virus, or show a negative PCR test from within 72 hours. I don’t know whether there are any rules against choral singing, and I frankly don’t care. The Health Nazi of King County probably doesn’t give a hoot whether the church can hold its famous fundraiser, which raised spirits as well as funds.

What was that about destroying the village in order to save it?  I think this is akin to destroying society in order to “save” it.   But then, this is Seattle, where many welcome Medical Tyranny.  Too bad the University Unitarian Messiah is another casualty.  I played there every year for over 10 years, and I will miss hearing the choir, and playing with my regular stand partner.

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  1. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Oh, that is a real shame.

    I’m back on the board of the local symphony orchestra, after a hiatus of a few years.  We’re having our Christmas concert this year (I hope) come hell or high water.

    At the county fairgrounds!  They have a rather nice arena with enormous amounts of space, moveable chairs so people can spread around as they see fit, a decent sound system, and plenty of parking.  There’ll be a choir and there are rumblings that there’ll be a live nativity scene–it is the home of the county agricultural fair, after all–take that, Socialists! 

    There might even be something appropriate and charming in the rustic and rural setting, I think.

    It’ll be our first live full concert for the general public since February 2020.  There have been some online performances, and–more recently–the small groups (brass quintet, string trio, etc) have done gigs at the library and such.  It’ll be interesting to see how many people come–usually, it’s hugely popular.

    • #1
  2. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Now I’m wondering what has happened to the music conservatories across the country. They’re always operating on a wing and a prayer. 

    • #2
  3. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    If the performance were The Book of Mormon or Jesus Christ Superstar with a mostly trans cast, I think the likelihood of adverse enforcement actions would have been greatly reduced.

    • #3
  4. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    This is also self inflicted.  I play in two community ensembles, a superb concert band and an adequate symphony orchestra.

    In March 2020 the SCB (in greater Boston) closed down for a year and more.  Despite my efforts to push the board of directors, we did nothing until July when we have a few one hour reading sessions outside.  Rehearsals began for real in September and we performed Sunday night.  Half the players were masked (NOT Dr Robert).

    In March 2020 the ASO (in central CT) closed too.  In April, looking to keep our players active, we formed seven small groups to allow performances within CT’s rules.  A sax quintet, a Dixie band, a string ensemble, a brass band,etc.  From July 2020 to August 2021 we gave 24 public concerts and two video shows.  That’s 24 more concerts than the New York Philharmonic gave in the same time.

    One notes the locations.  Progressive Boston professors, frightened to death, shut their ensemble down.  Working class people from a mill town said “eff this sh*t” and kept playing.

    And apart from Dr Mrs Dr Robert and me, none of us got WuFlu.

    Life will become normal when we behave normally.

    • #4
  5. jonb60173 Member
    jonb60173
    @jonb60173

    to me, just another example of throwing the baby out with the bath water.  stuff happens when you inflict all of these prohibitions on the population

    • #5
  6. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Devolution is under way. 

    • #6
  7. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    If only those people bringing about the cancellation of Handel’s celebratory Messiah Sing-Along would be found guilty of puppy abuse, we might see this totally reversed.

    Bill Gates is now enthused about a possible coming pandemic. But do not worry – he is also planning a ricin-formulated vaccine to handle the coming Marburg-ebola plague.

    We are at the very beginning of this whole episode. The return to “old” normal is not at hand.

    Instead we are at the beginning of the New Continual Normal. Israel is now at four injections.

    A priest monk in Greece states that the vaxxes are the Seals spoken of in Revelations. And that the 6th and 7th of these Seals will be the worst.

    People refuse to see what sleight of hand is going on.

    Our officials are paid off – note the recent uncovering of the top New Zealand official receiving huge monetary incentives to bring about the continuing life-reducing restrictions that her fellow citizens must suffer under.

    The President of Belarus announced he had been offered close to one billion dollars by IMF/World Bank officials if he would  agree to his masking up, locking down and injecting his population. So think of the slush funds he could have brought about for himself if he had simply accepted this bribe. (Instead within two weeks he was denounced as a draconian dictator who should be taken out because he detained a journalist who  he had discovered was CIA. For our media to denounce this man while Julian Assange is still in custody is hypocritical.)

    Part of the reason the PTB wanted Trump gone was he called the legacy media and Big Tech out for their crimes against our society. The words “Fake news” were always on his lips. He wanted to eviscerate the power that Big Tech has over us.

    But Trump being exiled from office is no excuse for all of us to allow their Program G to go on.

    They might tell us it is “G” for Good. But I think it is more “G” for genocide. (The murdering of our elderly and the refusal of the top health authorities in this nation to offer us cheap effective remedies such that hundreds of thousands died after their bodies were dealt remdesivir, combined with rocephin and being thrown on ventilators – all those examples should be ample enough clues as to what is going on.)

     

     

     

    • #7
  8. The Cynthonian Member
    The Cynthonian
    @TheCynthonian

    RB, I listened to an hour of Todd Herman’s show/podcast today.  (May have been yesterday’s show).   I know you like him too.  Todd talked about visiting Bellevue Square (my favorite mall during my years in WA), and leaving the mall when security guards insisted he mask up.   He then exhorted his listeners about the necessity of pushing back and refusing to give into the mandates.   

    I was thinking about this when I read your piece.   What can you do to push back?  My thought:  put EZ-up tents in your backyard, invite the orchestra and the refreshment committee, and dare the state or the county to shut you down.   Maybe you have a better idea.  

    I encourage you to not submit meekly to this tyranny.   (I know that isn’t your nature!).  There must be a way…….right?

    • #8
  9. The Cynthonian Member
    The Cynthonian
    @TheCynthonian

     Note:   Last time I checked, Seattle and King County were over 70% vaccinated.  Pretty sad that the vaccines don’t work.  They must not, per the decisions of our ruling class.  Then why are vaccines being mandated?

    Wonder if/when the church will ever decide to do the concert again.   I’d be curious to know what factors they used to arrive at this decision.   

    • #9
  10. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    The Unitarians are big-government lefties and they obey the edicts of Dictators Jeff Duchin and Ali Mokdad. My yard can fit no more than a string quartet and I have no interest in importing any more lefties to Snohomish County. I will boycott King County, except for Chamber Music Society concerts. 

    • #10
  11. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):
    The President of Belarus announced he had been offered close to one billion dollars by IMF/World Bank officials if he would  agree to his masking up, locking down and injecting his population

    Did he ever say, or was it ever reported, who offered him a billion dollars?

    • #11
  12. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    The Cynthonian (View Comment):

    RB, I listened to an hour of Todd Herman’s show/podcast today. (May have been yesterday’s show). I know you like him too. Todd talked about visiting Bellevue Square (my favorite mall during my years in WA), and leaving the mall when security guards insisted he mask up. He then exhorted his listeners about the necessity of pushing back and refusing to give into the mandates.

    I was thinking about this when I read your piece. What can you do to push back? My thought: put EZ-up tents in your backyard, invite the orchestra and the refreshment committee, and dare the state or the county to shut you down. Maybe you have a better idea.

    I encourage you to not submit meekly to this tyranny. (I know that isn’t your nature!). There must be a way…….right?

    I was hoping someone would come up with a plan for RushBabe to save this event.

    My spouse has business acquaintances across the nation, and right now, people from so many different places are all starting to break out in an underground rebellion sort of way.

    She might need a co-conspirator or a small team of them to help with the planning. It is challenging but if the idea is offered to God with the idea that His Will should be done, things would fall into place.

    • #12
  13. Ida Claire Member
    Ida Claire
    @IdaClaire

    I too went to the Messiah sing along for 10 years in the 80s and early 90s (can it really be so long ago?). I loved it. Then I moved to the islands so it would’ve required a hotel stay, so I stopped going.
    I kinda kept the tradition up by playing the Messiah while baking cookies and singing along during “my” parts, it’s festive but it’s not the same.
    The year before last I decided I should go again, sigh. So much for that. I can  hear my mom now, “never  put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” 

    • #13
  14. dukenaltum Coolidge
    dukenaltum
    @dukenaltum

    I suspect that Unitarians putting on Handel’s “Messiah” is an intentionally ironic choice.  

    • #14
  15. Ida Claire Member
    Ida Claire
    @IdaClaire

    @dukenaltum, I’d say their messiah HAS come.  Haven’t you heard? Big government has arrived and is here to save us!

     

    • #15
  16. Quietpi Member
    Quietpi
    @Quietpi

    I sing in two barbershop choruses.  The one based in Sacramento decided that we have had enough, and we’re going ahead with our holiday show.  (12/4, matinee & evening, in the town of Antelope.  PM for tickets)  It does look like our audiences are returning.  We may be forced to sing with masks, but we’re going to do our first public performance 2018.  We’ve had enough.  Telling us not to sing is like telling a bird not to chirp.

    • #16
  17. Jules PA Member
    Jules PA
    @JulesPA

    I play in two orchestras. 

    Dropped one because masks required.

    The other on hiatus. And I may drop because they wanted a yes/no response in vaxx status. 

    Killing good music is a goal if them left, as our bodies respond to the sound in an uplifting, healing way.

    Plus the communal healing. 

    Little NASx =not good. 

    Same for travis scott. 

    You will know what is good by their fruits. 

     

     

    • #17
  18. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Jules PA (View Comment):
    Killing good music is a goal of the if them left, as our bodies respond to the sound in an uplifting, healing way.

    My piano teacher and I agreed during the summer of “mostly peaceful protests,” the police vehicles should be equipped with large loudspeakers and should play classical music at high decibels. I think law enforcement does something like that when tensions rise in prisons. So, it’s not just “healing,” it’s peacekeeping. 

    • #18
  19. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Jules PA (View Comment):
    Killing good music is a goal of the if them left, as our bodies respond to the sound in an uplifting, healing way.

    My piano teacher and I agreed during the summer of “mostly peaceful protests,” the police vehicles should be equipped with large loudspeakers and should play classical music at high decibels. I think law enforcement does something like that when tensions rise in prisons. So, it’s not just “healing,” it’s peacekeeping.

    This comment puts me in mind of the helicopters in Apocalypse Now playing Wagner (the Ride of the Valkyries) as they go into battle.

    • #19
  20. Ray Kujawa Coolidge
    Ray Kujawa
    @RayKujawa

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Jules PA (View Comment):
    Killing good music is a goal of the if them left, as our bodies respond to the sound in an uplifting, healing way.

    My piano teacher and I agreed during the summer of “mostly peaceful protests,” the police vehicles should be equipped with large loudspeakers and should play classical music at high decibels. I think law enforcement does something like that when tensions rise in prisons. So, it’s not just “healing,” it’s peacekeeping.

    This comment puts me in mind of the helicopters in Apocalypse Now playing Wagner (the Ride of the Valkyries) as they go into battle.

    I’ve got another movie reference for you, though it might be a bit obscure. Léon The Professional’s (1994) prime corrupt villain-cop (Gary Oldman) playing Beethoven’s Ninth when he’s about to go on a drug enhanced killing spree of his enemies. Ironic is that Oldman also acted in a movie where he protrayed Beethoven.

    • #20