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Sunday, December 18, 2016

The "Thru Snow, Sleet And Freezing Rain Came …… Hallelujah!" Story

2015 Hallelujah Chorus Flash Mob.
It was an ordinary day.  Snowed a few hours last night with freezing rain coating the snow.  Awoke this morning to a real mess!  Carol asked if I was was still going.  "You bet, wouldn't miss it.  I have waited too long and may never get another chance."  So I trudged downstairs to grab a bite to eat and feed the cat.  When I returned upstairs to get dressed, Carol was almost ready to do.  
I didn't have the oratorio memorized
so I had to print myself a copy.
"I thought you were going to stay home," I said to her.  She replied, "Don't want to miss it.  I'll be ready in a few minutes."  So, half an hour later we put the garage door up and began our journey of crossing one more item off my "Bucket List".  For years I have watched videos and viewed newspaper photos of what is known as a Flash Mob which descended on Lancaster's historic Central Market a week or so before Christmas to participate in the singing of Handel's Hallelujah Chorus for the enjoyment of all the shoppers at market.  This all started six years ago when a fellow by the name of David Gelatt, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, decided that it would be fun to gather as many singers together and perform at market for the benefit of the shoppers at market, thus began the Hallelujah Flash mob.
Lancaster's Central Market on a bad weather day.  Wasn't more than
 twenty minutes later that the Flash Mob brought the place to life.
I had hoped to get a chance to participate as a singer for years, but it always fell on a date when I had other obligations.  This year I decided singing was my main objective and obligation and called a friend from the past, Sam, who I had seen singing in photos from past years, and asked the date of the Flash Mob.  Not long before I got an email with the time of the two rehearsals for the 6th Annual Flash Mob.  
My wife caught me at just the right moment.  
The first rehearsal had about two dozen of us, some with music and some who had the famous oratorio memorized, gather and go through each part and then sang as a group twice, the last being acapella or without any accompaniment.  I had the best time reliving my years long ago when I sang in the church choir  next to my dad and we did the entire Handel's Messiah.  
Final note brought everyone's hands in the air in celebration.
This photo Carol took at Building Character.
The highlight of the Messiah was always the Hallelujah Chorus.  The final rehearsal had about 30 in attendance and I once again totally enjoyed myself.  Did get to meet a few new people as well as see a few others friends from my past.  Well, Saturday morning arrived with snow, sleet and freezing rain.  We were told last night at rehearsal that we would do better than the postal carriers and show up no matter what.  
Yours truly in the background behind the decorated tree.
My lovely wife, who had agreed to come along for encourage- ment as well as to snap a few photos, didn't complain at any time about the weather. After arriving I helped Carol find a place to take a few photos and then began to mingle with the other participants.  At 8:55 AM I pulled out my Santa Hat and five minutes later the first note sounded over the markets intercom. And, for the next couple of minutes the market was filled with the sound of the Hallelujah Chorus.  After we completed our mission, many in the market house, as well as some in the Flash Mob, had tears of joy in their eyes.  I must admit I certainly did!  The experiences at market and the second venue, known as Building Character, were tremendous and well worth getting up and heading out into the bad weather.  Finally had the chance to cross this experience off my Bucket List, but do hope to have another go at it next year.  My only regret was that my dad wasn't standing next to me as we sang, but then again, maybe he was.  Life can be fabulous, at times! It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

David (left) and friend Mark hold a piece of slate.  This piece of slate will be part of the new roof for Central Market during repairs to the old roof.  Everyone who sang had the chance to contribute to the building renovation by giving a donation and in turn signing their name on the slate.  Perhaps another 100 years from now our names will be found when another new roof may be needed.
Displaying the slate outside Central Market after we had sung.
Names as they appeared on the slate.  Really neat idea and a great way to raise funds for the new roof.
The 2016 Hallelujah Chorus Flash Mob.
The "Boss" David directing the Flash Mob.  Thanks to you for my great time!!

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