Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Music from the Mountain

Voice of the Mountain

by Shawn K. Inlow

Gun Violence?  Not today.

The video was shot in 2009 at our practice piano as my brother-in-law and my son, then 13 years of age, practiced a piece they were getting ready for Christmas services at our church, the Presby in Osceola Mills, Pa.

I had been studying most of the week over issues of gun violence with the aim of posting a serious discussion of the issue today.  I've been tracking down bits of information and taking a number of readers' thoughts very seriously with the intent of synthesizing something reasonable around the issue of gun violence which has thrust itself center stage of late.  And that will come.

But I can't.  Not today.  Its Christmas Eve, you know.  And The Mountain prefers to rejoice.

Instead of dwelling on the vile, I'm going to dwell on the sublime and share with you some very personal moments around the Christmas season with some Christmas music I think you'll enjoy.

I want to share with you how blessed my family and how blessed my church is.  What goes on in our church on most Sunday mornings is pretty good stuff and we have a church organist who quite simply rocks the house on Christmas Eve.  Here is a rehearsal of some Vivaldi our organist has in store for our congregation for tonight's service. 
You've heard me, if you've been following the Voice of the Mountain over its first week, talk about the brother-in-law who lives in the  basement, right?  Well that brother-in-law's name is Brett Albert, he is my wife's twin brother, and he is a classically trained pianist with heavy jazz leanings.  And he, dear readers, has devoted his talents for decades at the church where he grew up.  So I wanted to share with you a few film clips of the master, in his lair (our sanctuary), getting ready for a Christmas service.  For the Vivaldi piece, no, we do not have a chamber orchestra in our church.  That's Brett laying down layer upon layer of music on a synthesizer in the choir loft.  Makes for a nice Sunday morning, anyone in our place will tell you.

The next piece is a 2010 rehearsal with Brett and my then 14 year old son doing a Joy To the World medley.

Now, this last one is another preview for Brett's special Christmas music this year.  He's really been into playing with heavy layering lately.  You should have seen the congregation a few months ago when he tossed in a full workup of rolling thunder in one piece.  Crazy.  In this one, "Mary Did You Know," which is one of our favorites at the Presby, Brett's got the full orchestra working here and you can hear him putting in all of his big fat jazz chords too.

I'll let Brett play you all out while I wish you all the joy of the season.  Thanks to the brother-in-law and Mountain Junior for allowing me to share their talent in such a public way.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Shawn K. Inlow
Osceola Mills, Pa.


  1. Oh, and I'm sure that we'll have some lively discussion when you post on the 'vile'

    1. Oh, Bob, it's getting heavy, and I don't want to dampen the mood on this page but we just had a shootout the other day in Hollidaysburg - where I patrolled as a probie - that resulted in 4 civilians dead (including the shooter) and three injured Troopers.

      And just this morning in Rochester some lunatic set a house fire to draw in firefighters and opened up on them killing two and seriously injuring two others.

      There are some things we need to contemplate this holiday season.


  2. By the Way. Kudos and spiked Egg Nog to anyone who can identify the famous "Psycho Theme" which Brett said he put into one of the clips to add tension. No really. It's in one of the four clips and ... if you're looking for it, you can definitely pick it out.

    Also, forgot to posit that the title of the Vivaldi piece is "Gloria."



  3. Wow. Just, wow. Amazing talent in that house...


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