Can you Handel the Messiah?

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Thursday 19 December 2013

I love Handel’s Messiah. I love the music. I love the theology. I love listening to it, but even more than all of that is that I love hearing it in concert.

In the lead up to Christmas there are often many concerts being held by orchestras and choirs of all shapes and sizes from small community centres to large City Town Halls. I recently heard a brilliant one in Sydney Town Hall with over 300 singers and a full orchestra. But listening to the music got me thinking – there are so many things that can happen during a performance, some funny, some awkward, some embarrassing, if only there was a way to keep a tally of all them.

So I decided to create a scorecard. Something you can fill out as you go, or from memory of a concert you have been to recently.

Ready to play?

The Surviving Handel’s Messiah scorecard

  1. Someone arrives late for the concert = 1 point
  2. They awkwardly walk past you to find their seat = 3 points
  3. It turns out they are not in your row = 8 points
  4. A phone goes off during the performance = 1 point
  5. The ring tone is the Hallelujah chorus = 4 points
  6. It goes off perfectly in time with the actual Hallelujah chorus = 10 points
  7. Someone sitting next to you takes a photo of the choir and orchestra = 1 point
  8. It was a selfie = 4 points
  9. While taking the photograph the flash went off = extra 1 point for each flash
  10. Someone sitting near you hums the music = 1 point
  11. Someone sitting near you starts singing out loud = 3 points
  12. Someone sitting near you sings the entire Hallelujah chorus = 4 points
  13. The humming or singing was off key = extra 1 point
  14. A person near you falls asleep = 1 point
  15. That person starts snoring = 2 points
  16. That person is sitting next to you and uses your shoulder as a pillow = 5 points
  17. One of the singers on stage waves to someone in the audience = 1 point
  18. You know the person waving = 2 points
  19. They were waving at you = 5 points
  20. The conductor waves to someone in the crowd = 10 points
  21. Someone leaves halfway through the performance = 1 point
  22. They have trouble getting out the door and only after repeated banging and clanging do they get the door open = 4 points
  23. Someone claps during or before the end of the performance = 1 point
  24. The performance receives a standing ovation = 1 point
  25. The performance receives a standing ovation from one person only and that person is you = 5 points

How did you score? Have I missed any? Care to share any other funny Messiah stories?

(Thanks to Jon Acuff, who regularly does these type of scorecards and gave me the idea)


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