Anne and Marcia asked if I wanted to go see Handel’s Messiah with them. In preparation, I studied up in Wikipedia. After reading that “Messiah is an English-language oratorio composed in 1741 by George Frideric Handel,” I thought, “well that can’t be right, America wasn’t even founded until 1776,” which is so wrong in at least two ways, if not more.
When I advised Gary that I’d made plans to go see Handel’s Messiah, out of courtesy I asked him if that was something he had planned to do with me.
”I HATE the Messiah!” Gary exclaimed, risking plagues of frogs and boils.
“Oh come on. Who hates the Messiah?”
”You didn’t play the trumpet in high school. I did, and every Christmas every church needed a trumpet player when they did the Messiah. I hate that thing.”
So, here is the stage setup at the Messiah Saturday night.
That looks pretty heavy on the strings, right? Do you see a brass section? No? Looks suspicious.
About a third of the way in, just when I was thinking, “Hmph! All this business about playing the trumpet in the Messiah is utter bull,” two trumpeters snuck in from a door on the right, played for about two minutes, and then disappeared. I almost laughed out loud. I imagined Gary patiently waiting half an hour to play one song and appreciated how it must have felt for him in his teens.
Of course, the main trumpeter re-emerged in the second act because there’s an entire piece written for and about trumpets.
I had a good time imagining high school Gary putting a Herb Alpert spin on that.