Happy New Year! 明けましておめでとうございます!

Greetings and apologies to readers for the scarcity of posts lately.  No excuses will be made today – it’s the time for resolutions to the effect of writing more often.  Stay tuned to see whether or not I manage to keep that resolution.  As we all know, 2016 was a year of transitions and surprises.  My hope is that the changes we all experienced lead to a stable and more peaceful world in 2017.  Realistic or not, that’s my wish for all of us in the coming year.

As for me, the holiday season was the usual mix of pedal-to-the-floor paced work, followed by the lazy post-Christmas season and “a bit” of over indulgence.  As I was out one evening trying to walk off some of that indulgence, I spotted this bottle in a drink machine.  To answer your question, no, I have not yet managed to produce a “miracle body.”  Perhaps today I’ll walk over and buy a bottle and see what it does to the figure.  Stay tuned for the results.

Christmas seems like a long way past, even though we are still in the Christmas season, liturgically.  If my calculations are correct, today is the Eighth Day of Christmas.  Did your true love give you a present today?  Rather than blather on any further, I’ll share some photos of the season in reverse chronological order.  Happy holidays!

“The Wife” and I wish you a very good 2017

New Year’s Eve traditional Japanese fare – “toshikoshi soba”

This year both of the Rikkyo chapel choirs sang for the Christmas Day High Mass, giving a combined choir of 80 singers.  The chapel handbell choir was in the balcony, so a total of 100 student musicians added great joy to the service.

The end of the Christmas day service also marks the changing of the guard in the choir.  The third-year staff, upon which I depend for the managing of this ultra-active choir, retires and is replaced by the class below.  2016 was the busiest season for the choir on record – an England tour, two CD recording projects, an away concert at Matsumoto’s Harmony Hall, a choir festival, the annual Messiah concert, and, finally, the normal Christmas duties.  This super staff is pictured below.

Christmas Day Service at Rikkyo University’s All Saints Chapel

pre-service rehearsal led by yours truly

post-service group photo of the chaplains, acolytes, and choirs

the 2016 choir staff

my final “lecture” to the retiring staff

I order them all to return to the choir the moment their job searches are concluded

Hirayama Junya helped out in the early music with his Renaissance drum (he is flanked by fourth-year members Oto Shuya and Uramoto Kohei, the photographer for many of these shots)

Between the two all-Rikkyo eve services (held on the Ikebukuro and Niiza campuses) and the midnight mass comes the choir’s annual Christmas party.  Gift exchanges, tables groaning with food, and a 40-minute performance by members of the choir were all part of the fun.  My role?  To give the opening toast (sorry – non-alcohol beverages only to preserve the sanity of the midnight mass!) and then fade into the woodwork.


Christmas eve – All Saints Chapel before the midnight mass

altar flowers

a calm Christmas eve campus

a calm Christmas eve campus

PS  Yes, a bit of cycling was accomplished as well

This entry was posted in Choral ~ 聖歌隊関係, Church music ~ 教会音楽, Music - general ~ 音楽:一般, Rikkyo ~ 立教, Tokyo ~ 東京. Bookmark the permalink.

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