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Lessons and Carols in the PICU

Eight years ago this month, an ambulance transported my son to the Johns Hopkins pediatric ICU. A profound disorder had compromised his ability to cough, and the common cold was making it too hard to breathe. Day after day the…

Music in wartime

“It almost makes you want to go to war.” 

Such was the effect of the fife and drum corps at colonial Williamsburg as they marched by.

Music in wartime is an ancient tradition. Why? Why should something so beautiful, lively…

The last post

“Gus never talked about art and hated art theory.” 

Gus himself, however, was an artist. He was Augustus Saint-Gaudens, one of the best sculptors of the nineteenth century per historian David McCullough. Apparently, Gus didn’t need to talk about art…

Twenty carols for Luke 2 Advent readings

We have an Advent tradition of reading a verse from Luke 2:1-20 throughout December. We’ve also picked a carol to go with each verse. This tradition serves a few purposes: 

1. The lyrics of these carols magnify the moment of…

Numerous objects of fascination

You could also call this post “Consumer Report” or “R. Hall’s Gift Guide,” because I’ve consumed all these things and find them all promising as gift ideas. They don’t all have to do with music, but let’s start there. 

Music 

A poem for Epiphany

 

Journey of the Magi

by T. S. Eliot

‘A cold coming we had of it, 
Just the worst time of the year 
For a journey, and such a long journey: 
The ways deep and the weather sharp, 
The very dead…

Another song from the hospital

There is a carol whose music you have heard, but I doubt you have ever sung in a congregation. 

"The Coventry Carol" is a commemoration of the children who perished at Herod’s order.  

Those children were victims of an ancient…

Songs from the hospital

A hospital stay impressed a deep love for Christmas music in this writer’s heart. The hospital was also the beginning of another person’s practice of music. About the year 1930, ten-year-old Alfred Burt received a cornet as a reward for…

Music in wartime

“It almost makes you want to go to war.” 

Such was the effect of the fife and drum corps at colonial Williamsburg as they marched by.

Music in wartime is an ancient tradition. Why? Why should something so beautiful, lively…