When I joined my son's family last night to go see their daughter's high school musical, we didn't know if we would need MASKS or not. Our state has withdrawn the mask mandate, but not for all situations, especially not for indoor gatherings of more than 50. We fully expected the students in the show to be wearing masks as well. When we entered the auditorium, everyone was wearing their masks. But when the show started, lo and behold, the actors were mask-less! YAY! We had the hope of hearing their voices and watching their facial expressions! We could pick out my granddaughter in the crowd, too!
The students gave wonderful, high energy performances. The sets and costumes were whimsical and so colorful, right out of the Dr. Seuss books. I was blown away by the calibre of the voices. The director, Mr. Brown, told the audience that "Seussical" had never been a show that he intended to ever do at the high school. But, he had seen a performance last year at a local community theater that changed his mind. After his hard work of studying to find the deeper concepts and cultures represented in the show, he was able to direct the kids in a very entertaining, meaningful show.
The first time I saw "Seussical" was many years ago at a community college. It was presented by a cast of adults. I had always thought that this show was written for adult actors to perform for young audiences --- NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND! Unfortunately through the years, I have gone to see way too many elementary and middle school versions of this show and have been completely underwhelmed. And no wonder, the show is comprised almost entirely of singing and dancing. The young actors (10-13 year olds) just did not have the experience, stage presence, and maturity to carry off such demanding roles.
Fortunately, the vocal and dancing talent of the Skyridge High School in Lehi, Utah was up to the challenge of these demanding roles. I was so glad not to have to just endure another trying performance. I was pleasantly surprised and so happy to ACTUALLY SEE THE KIDS FACES. That alone was worth the price of admission!
We are so happy to thank all of you who viewed our Christmas Music Video "On a Sacred, Still and Silent Night." Although it was not shown on the Temple Square virtual concerts, it has had over 1890 views so far on YouTube.
Some of the viewers left wonderful comments. I just had to share a few.
Elaine said: "That’s beautiful! Gives me chills."
Susan said: "Thank you so much for sharing the beautiful song and video with us. How wonderful your family could do that together, share their talents and testimonies!"
Tracy said: "Absolutely beautiful!!!"
Nathan said: "Thanks so much for sharing! It's beautiful! And the kids playing in the Nativity scene are great."
Chris said: "This is a touching performance, from the darling children, to the family members singing with all their hearts, the fine instrumentalists, and the perfectly peaceful "baby Jesus." Thank you for sharing! Making this video recording took a lot of effort and a lot of love."
Kathleen said: "I cried - it was so beautiful! Wow! Thank you Betsy, Bonnie, family and friends for this treasured gift! ___ Perhaps we all sang together at the Savior's birth! I hope we will all sing together again when He comes again in Glory - to rule and reign upon the earth!"
Bob said: "What a lovely piece, Betsy! And so professionally put together--you've definitely got some talented videographers and performers. I also enjoyed seeing quite a few people I know, including you! What a year we've had. Thanks for sharing this. (So, are you starting to work on composing next year's piece? )"
----- So in answer to Bob's last question, it seems that we will have to plan another video for next year. Perhaps Covid will be controlled by then and we won't have to do our recordings in a clandestined location breaking CDC rules!
Sometimes we find ourselves doing things that come as a complete surprise. Just a month ago, I wouldn't have even contemplated the idea of doing a Music Video. Just before Halloween, my sister breezed into my house saying that I needed to make a music video of one of my Christmas songs for the Church's Virtual Christmas Concerts sponsored by Temple Square Performance Events.
She had heard from friends about this opportunity and took it upon herself to talk me into making it happen.
This posed several problems that I could see.
1. The submission was in three weeks. (Very quick timeline)
2. Even if we used just the part of our big our family who live nearby, where could we rehearse, record, and film in this time of restrictions due to COVID-19?
3. Where would we find a sound guy and a videographer on short notice who would brave the COVID-19 restrictions to help us?
Well, amazingly, we pulled it off and got it turned by November 15th, 2020.
"On a Sacred Still and Silent Night" - performed by the Bailey/Lee Family Singers conducted by Betsy Lee Bailey with Amy Gabbitas (piano), Bev Kellersberger (violin) and Matthew Bailey (guitar)
Thanks to the efforts of daughter Cami and niece Amy, we were able to find the videographer and sound technician. And thanks to a large, talented family and a brother with a big living room with a Steinway grand piano, we were able to get a nice audio recording done.
After meeting with the videographer, we came up with a filming plan that included a lot of our youngest kids in a Nativity Pageant. We had also planned to film outside as a choir (25+) on a hillside, but decided against it due to a snowstorm. Plan B found us madly rearranging all the furniture in my house to create a warm, Christmasy venue for our video. (Plus, we had to make room for the massive lights the camera guys brought!) We decided that for the video, a cozy family gathering for Christmas Eve was all right, too.
Yes, we pretty much ignored the restrictions of no gatherings of more than 10 people inside. It was wonderful to rehearse and prepare a performance in this time where hardly anyone is allowed to sing praises. We had a glorious few moments singing our testimonies of the Savior to pass on to you this Christmas season. Enjoy!
Christmas Nativity Pageant - short script for families
"On a Sacred, Still and Silent Night" - sheet music
My name is Betsy Bailey. I have sung, written and taught music all of my life. I enjoy writing and directing Children's Theater shows. This blog will be directed to topics on creating the magic of Children's Theater. I would love to hear your comments!