Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas in Karuizawa Singing for Joy

Our good friend Keiko invited us to join her and her friend from Tokyo, Kaoru, as they sang in the living Christmas tree on display at Karuizawa's famous Megumi Chalet Christian retreat center. Our language helper Midori had given us a copy of the Japanese songs ahead of time which include Gloria, Joy To The World, and Silent Night. It's one thing to practice recitals in front of a small classroom. It's an entirely different thing when you're standing in front of a hundred people who've come to be entertained by your singing in their native language. In spite of the fact that the size of the words was small and I had to skip most of the unfamiliar kanji characters, Weiling and I managed to make it through to the end (though one of my pages was out of order, so you may notice me looking at my neighbor's hymnal to find out what song we're on). I would definitely do it again now that we can practice to the recording. As a special bonus, see if you can find Aaron in the Christmas tree. He doesn't sing, but like a whack-a-mole game, his head can be seen popping up from time to time. Oh, and to be fair, I was asked to read aloud the English words to Silent Night as the choir was practicing singing it in English. So we all got to share in the "pleasure" of singing in different tongues. Watch these videos fullscreen in HD to get the full flavor.
[YouTube playlist link]