Friday, December 20, 2019

Mouse Musik

I don't normally brag about my compositional accomplishments, but my music was recently featured in a rather unique fashion. While some of my colleagues were out hitting the big time, I took the opposite tack. After all, a lot of us think bigger is better, but what about smaller?

The ladies of our church make a Christmas ornament each year. It is a mouse, about two inches high. Each year's model has a different occupation or participates in a different activity. There is a mouse from one year that is a hair dresser. It holds a leetle tiny hair dryer in one paw and a leeetle tiny comb in the other. It is one of my favorites. There is a mouse who is a baker, and one on skis. Quite a large number of these festoon the church office this time of year. I should have taken a picture of all the mice. Maybe I'll edit this later so you can see the village of mice. The lady who founded this tradition recently passed at the age of 102!

In July I was informed about this year's model. This is rare, because nobody outside the inner circle gets to know what this year's mouse is going to be before the great unveil at the holiday bazaar in mid-November. But I was cleared for secret because this year's mouse is musical and they wanted me to help with it.

It's called the "mice-tro." Get it? Get it? That thing in its left paw is a conducting baton, and in its right paw is a book of music. That's where I made my contribution. The music it is reading is a piece of mine, shrunk down to mouse size. It is five pages long and the entire piece is there, minus the bass line on the last page--at least on my copy--which is about par for the course when soloists are copying things for their accompanists!

The piece I chose for the occasion is a setting of the Advent hymn "Now Come, Savior of the Nations" in a festive Renaissance dance. I played it as offertory last week for the church, using an "enlarged" edition. You can listen to it right here in a recording I made back when the piece was new four or five years ago.


After we brought our mouse home we put it on the media center with the creche and the Christmas decorations. Our mouse, it should be said, continues to be in demand and has an active schedule as a performer. After the joyous reunion of the other creche-members the other week,
the member who had gotten misplaced decided they should all go caroling at the gingerbread house next door. Mice-tro led the singing.

The Christmas festivities continue at

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