Stake Conference Choirby Angie

24 Aug 2008
10:08 pm

Stake Conference is in a couple of weeks, and the special musical numbers are being provided by a volunteer choir of women in the stake.  Tonight I went to the first rehearsal and it was so wonderful!  There were lots of sisters there that I remember from the Christmas choir last year and other familiar faces I’ve come to know since then.

We are performing two numbers:  an SSA arrangement of “This is the Christ,” which is a beautiful piece based on a poem written by Elder James E. Faust.  I’ve sung it before, and I love it, so it is a treat to be singing it again.  The other is the lyrics of “Joseph Smith’s First Prayer” arranged to the melody of an old Scottish(?) folk song called “Homeward Bound.”  If you’ve heard MoTab’s CD “Love is Spoke Here” or BYU Singers’ “The Road Home,” then you’ll know the tune I mean.  William Joseph has an orchestrated arrangement of it that I love, too.  It is just gorgeous with the words describing the First Vision.  The only drawback is that we only really sing two verses!  I wish it were longer!

It’s wonderful to be singing again.  Our ward choir has taken a month-long haitus, and I’m defnitley in withdrawl.

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Daylight Savingsby Angie

9 Mar 2008
7:03 pm

I have to preface this charming story by explaining that, since our choir director, Josh Senecal, will be out of town over Easter, I offered to fill in and direct the Easter number. He hasn’t left town yet, so rehearsals are still at his home, and we meet at 9:30 am.

I’m sure you can see where this is leading, but I’ll tell my little story anyway: Last night we were up until well past midnight because of the monumental artistic achievement being culminated in our kitchen (I’ll let Jim elaborate on that later). At 8:30 this morning, my alarm started blaring and I sleepily turned it off and sat down on the bed to pet Jaquie. Ten minutes after that, I shuffled into the bathroom and was about to put toothpaste on my toothbrush when the phone rang. It was Josh, calling to say, “Hey, are you coming to choir today?” I said, “Sure, of course!” To which, he responded, “Well, we’re waiting to get started…” As the full import of what he was saying dawned on me, I felt mortified! I’m sure you can imagine the frenetic activity that followed this phone call.

So, yes, we were twenty minutes late to choir because I had no idea that today was daylight savings. Thank goodness for choir, though, because otherwise we probably would have been an hour late to church!

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A Weekend in LAby Angie

2 Mar 2008
12:03 pm

Mary Poppins

Oh, there is so much to write! We spent this weekend down in Los Angeles, where we saw my cousin, Melinda, perform with the BYU Young Ambassadors: It was a fantastic show, and Melinda was “practically perfect in every way” as Mary Poppins. “The New American Songbook” included a musical review of the 60s, 70s, and 80s and also show tunes from recent Broadway hits, including “Wicked” and Disney’s 2006 theatrical production of “Tarzan.” It was wonderful!

We drove down to Culver City (in West LA) on Thursday morning, which took us a little over six hours. We ate dinner with Jim’s Grandma & Grandpa Packard, and then drove down to Long Beach, to see the Young Ambassadors’ show. After that, we returned to Culver City to stay with Jim’s Aunt Debbie for the night. Friday morning we had breakfast at Dinah’s – a cafe restaurant that is famous in the Hoffman family for selling the most delicious apple pancake you’ve ever tasted.

That afternoon, we went to the Hyatt Hotel in Garden Grove, to see the ACDA Western Division Honors Choir Concert. We attended because Jim’s niece, Amber, was selected to represent her school in the Children’s Honor Choir this year! It was a beautiful, varied program, and the kids did an amazing job. Jim’s mom was also in town as Amber’s escort! After a mini-family reunion at Outback for dinner, Jim and I made the long return trip in the car back to Livermore. This time, we were driving late into the night, but at least that meant we weren’t fighting traffic! So, we arrived home a little before midnight, exhausted but happy to have had such a wonderful weekend in LA.

Springtown Ward Christmas Programby Angie

16 Dec 2007
8:12 pm

Today at church, we participated in the ward Christmas Program for Sacrament Meeting. There was a violin solo, a guitar solo, and a trio of sisters who sang, “Born to Wear a Crown.” Jim and I were both in the choir, which sang three hymns, and we also sang a duet: “No Room for the King.” We were both pretty nervous – I got the hiccups shortly before Sacrament Meeting started, and I was terrified that they would come back while we were up on the stand! Luckily, no such disaster occurred. Everything went great. After the meeting several people complimented us, and they were all amazed and impressed that my mom had written the song.  Our Relief Society president enjoyed telling everyone that, because she had been sitting in the choir behind us, she could see that we were holding hands while we sang, and she thought that was the cutest thing ever. 🙂

This afternoon, Jim had to go to a presidency meeting for the Teachers Quorum, which overlapped a little with ward choir practice. I walked there on my own (our choir director, Brother Senecal, lives right around the corner from us), and we were about fifteen minutes into our practice when Jim arrived and joined the basses. They were very relieved that he “finally” showed up, since none of them are confident reading music, and Brother Senecal announced to Jim that, “It’s people like you that make ward choirs a success!” I love seeing Jim flattered and embarrassed and pleased all at the same time.

Happy Birthday to Meby Angie

15 Dec 2007
5:12 pm

Today is my birthday! I got to enjoy breakfast in bed and a relaxing morning with Jim, and then we went to the Oakland Temple together this afternoon. This evening, we went to Strizzi’s – a fabulous Italian restaurant in downtown Livermore.  Parking downtown is pretty tricky on a Saturday evening, so we had to walk a little ways.  As we approached the intersection near Strizzi’s, we heard the unmistakable sounds of a motorcycle behind us.  The rider pulled up to the stop light and we realized that it was Santa!  From head to toe, he was decked out as the jolly old elf, complete with christmas lights on his motorcycle.  He was waving and “Ho, Ho, Ho”-ing, even after he turned the corner and drove out of sight.  I’m so sorry I didn’t get a picture of it – I tried, but I wasn’t quick enough.  It was a very entertaining part of a very lovely birthday.

Last night was our Stake Choir Concert on Temple Hill! It was a great success and we’ve both really enjoyed the wonderful people we’ve met and worked with in the choirs over the last couple of months. We performed our whole program twice, and the second time it was video recorded. We kind of wished that it had been the first performance that they recorded, but they were both great, really. We’ve made a lot of new friends through the choir, and it’s been very fun to rehearse and perform.

St. Mikulás Dayby Angie

6 Dec 2007
10:12 pm

ShoesJaquie and her new mouseSt. Mikulás visited our house and – since we have been very good children – left our shoes full of presents! We got DVDs and popcorn and hot chocolate and candy, and Jaquie got new toys that she adores. Her favorite is a set of three catnip mice – Jim detached one little mouse from the cardboard and she went crazy playing with it, and a few minutes later was trying to get the other two mice out of his shoe, where he had set them aside! We got a picture of her attacking the mouse, but when we tried to get a video of it, she stopped and walked away in a huff.

We had our Mikulás Feast last night because tonight we had choir rehearsal. I made cider and soft ginger cookies to share with everyone, in honor of it being St. Mikulás Day, and we got to tell everyone about the Hoffmans’ traditions and background. Everybody was pleased with the treats and very grateful, and I enjoyed doing it but…note to self: don’t try cooking big meals and treats for 60 people two days in a row. I am exhausted, and my poor kitchen looks like a whirlwind waltzed through it.