December 25th, 2012 browsing by day


Christmas Day 2012

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

America is just waking up on the Atlantic Coast. I am back from the second Christmas mass at the Augustinus Church. We had our choir’s general rehearsal on Sunday afternoon, with the soloists and musicians. We sang the midnight mass last night and left the church at just before 2 a.m.  Then we reported in at 10 a.m. again for the 11 a.m. service.

This experience will always remain one of the highlights of my four year European visit. All the hard work and rehearsals were worth it. In the end I think we all, as a choir, enjoyed this as much as the congregation who could just sit and enjoy the music. Last night we sang the liturgy from Mozart’s Krönungs Messe (Coronation Mass). Which is very similar to Mozart’s Requiem Mass. The four soloists were Nikki Treurniet (Sopraan), Merlijn Runia (Mezzo-sopraan), Aart Schutte (Tenor) en Tim Maas (Bariton). Fabulous voices. They are all students at various conservatories in Holland and Tim in Hamburg.(see my December 6th blog with details of the program and participants, director,violinists, etc.) The large church was packed. This morning we did not have the soloists and instead of the Mozart mass for the liturgy we used William Lloyd Webber’s Principe Pacis Latin mass. This was familiar for most of the choir but totally new to me. But with the help of very strong tenors on both sides I managed to get most of it and I am allowed to come back for the Easter rehearsals.

Right now I am at my sister and brother in law for Christmas dinner. Tomorrow morning I go collect Corrine’s dad and grandparents who are flying in from Seattle, then I’ll stay a few days with my cousin Gido van Ommen and his wife Riet in Heemstede. On January 2nd I move to Soest till the end of the month. So, a warm bed in the coldest part opf the winter.

I talked on the telephone to the last survivor of the infamous May 22nd 1944 arrests of seven Resistance members on the Van Breestraat 155, as is described in “The Mastmakers’ Daughters”. He is Jan Eusman, he was then 24 and is now 92. I will be visiting him after he has read the book and the information that surrounded the event of which part was most likely never known to the rest of the group of seven. And I hope to get some new facts from him.