Thursday, December 15, 2011

Little Known Bassoon Facts

     My annual Christmas cantata has ended to thunderous applause and requests for us to return in the spring. Before I, personally perform, I want to clarify some little known facts about the most wonderful instrument in the band.
     Did you know?

English: Range of a bassoon.

1.  The bassoon is indeed the prototype of a bazooka. If you wet tissues, roll them into the size of a golf ball and shove it down the bell joint, when the bassoonist hits a high C, it will easily shoot one thousand feet. I have heard that the designers of the game "Angry Birds" use a bassoon at its highest level.

2.  The bassoon also is the forerunner of an IED. Watch a bassoonist roaming around before a concert and see how many innocent attendees she bops with the horn. Few survive.

Two bassoons made of black maple, with silver-...
3.  The bocal is not a hookah.

4.  The bocal is a good substitute for a water balloon. Innocently look ahead as you blow the condensation out of it at the end of the concert. Your neighbor will be saturated.

5. It does not make the same noise as a dying cow or a moose in heat.

6. When someone points at a bassoonist and says, "das faggott," they are NOT insulting her. That's the German name for it and it means those sticks.

7. No ships are ever lost at sea when a bassoon yields its low notes.

8.  The bassoon is not an oboe.

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Friday, December 9, 2011

A Sword Shall Pierce Your Heart

Simeon Jesus Christ Baby Mormon

Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too" (Luke 2:34-35)

  Have you ever wondered at some of the hard Scriptures concerning a time we epitomize as pure joy?

  Picture Mary waiting forty-one days of her purification (Lev. 12:4) before bringing her son to the temple. Here Simeon greets her and tells her wonderful news: a sword would pierce her spirit.

  His words proved true. Mary knew sorrow as she watched the life of her son unfold, culminating in his crucifixion. 

  For Jesus, his birth came at a great cost—not just in his brutal death, but He was equal to God and owned the world. Yet he came as a defenseless child dependent on sinful man for His survival.

  Today we sing happy songs and focus on the joyful season. And it is joyful solely because Jesus came to earth to reconcile us with the Father. For that reunion, the heavens rejoiced.

  But as we go about our lives, also realize this is a season of sorrow for many.

  My son-in-law works in a psych ward in Salem Hospital. Christmas time brings a plethora of patients overwhelmed by the emphasis on family when they have none and giving when they have nothing. They worry about debt to buy the elaborate gifts our culture demands and feel guilty because happiness eludes them even though the world rejoices. 

  On top of this loved ones die, siblings become ill, babies are miscarried, children are abused and addictions abound.

  Don’t be dismayed if you don’t feel the joy the world tells us we must feel. Realize that our faith and faithfulness are not pain free. We will be challenged in all things human, even as Christ our Savior was. Like Mary, great blessings will come, but swords will, too.

  Rest in Him through the hard times, and He will give you peace that passes understanding.

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