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Knowing I like to improvise my minister told me to "set up" the mood of the Advent Season by improvising piano preludes for each Sunday in Advent. This had been a fun endeavor for me. I would look at the printed bulletin on Friday and explore the tune for the next two days and hope something reasonable came out on Sunday morning. This past weekend I was also working on a PowerPoint project, where I would take drawings from Elementary aged children from our congregation and community and arrange them into a slide show that would accompany our choir's rendition of "Twas the night before Christmas." So, after spending half the night arranging this artwork, I got up this past Sunday, checked in on Facebook and realized that one of the children murdered in Newtown was the daughter of a Jazz Saxophonist well known to many of my friends up north. This brought the tragedy of the incident home. Furthermore, it dawned on me that I was to improvise to "What Child is This" later in church. Oh my. . . ! I rapidly dissolved into a mess.
Here is the first improvisation I came up with that morning. I stuck with that basic form at church and dedicated the prelude to the memory of those twenty children. Who were they? What children were they? The music in my heart is so much more perfect and beautiful than anything I can really play, but none-the-less, this is a heartfelt rendition of a beautiful song played with the memory of these beautiful children weighing heavily down upon me.