Harmony Jewels at Festival of Trees
The Harmony Jewels are more than Christmas Carolers!
This Christmas season my little a 'cappella group, The Harmony Jewels, sang for 12 shows in 3 weeks and could have done more if I could have fit it in! I am grateful to God, Gig Salad and my team of singers! But something more happening here than gigs?
And how can we expand this beyond Christmas? (More on that later)
"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." (NIV)
I am always looking for ways to share my heart/ faith through music- and to make a living; often these two ideas seem at odds. But something amazing happens at Christmas! The secular world (Or at least a good chunk of it) opens the doors to let the light in for a few weeks! They may be afraid to say "Merry Christmas" in some places (thought I distinctly felt it was better this year!), and schools can still be a hostile place for Christians wanting to celebrate the birth of Christ (Which is so contrary to the intentions of the framers of our constitution- but don't get me started!), but there are / were lots of generally "religious neutral" folks, towns and companies that thirsted for the gospel this Christmas through music! And we joyfully met that need!
First Harmony Jewels Show at Coco's
Two years ago I put a little group together to sing for a Christmas party. I pulled together some friends from church (Jessica McClellan on alto, Adam Radl on tenor) and my then current voice student James Jones (on Bass) and ran over some favorite Christmas carols in one rehearsal. The party at Coco's house was a great success and they promised to hire us back the next year! And they did!
So the next year I expanded the group a bit and shuffled as people were available to include Gabe Paradis or Jim Cafarella on tenor, Diana Botello or Jennifer Evans on Alto and James Joutras on Bass and we did some more shows... We added 2 town events for Milbury and Quincy and a nursing home and 2 more private parties!
We got to shine our light in lots of cool places! It was so fun to sing at Cary's FABULOUS party with the amazing decorations! (That man has such a talent- he and his husband have the most gorgeous house I've ever seen at Christmas!)
We returned to Coco's for more great food and sing-a-long fun!
We strolled the streets of Quincy and Millbury singing at various locations. My favorite was singing on the horse drawn carriage!
Finally this third year was the best yet! I had 2 members for each part (James Jones became available again between tours with his other a cappella projects) and we started rehearsing. As it turned out, our talented tenor Gabe got sick which took him our the whole season (sorry brother! glad you are better now) but we got Rich Evans to fill in for a bunch of shows with a great response (thanks Rich!)! It was fun having a husband -wife team on board!
Harmony Jewels at Festival of Trees
We kicked off the season with the Festival of Trees in Reading (Thanks Mike!) where we got to sing for lots of kids among others. (Our version of "Jingle Bells" has gotten really good!) It was a beautiful event that we added the special Christmas touch to!
We returned to Coco's party (With a very talented one time sub on tenor: Monty Hill- thanks Monty), we returned to Cary's FABULOUS event, we returned to Millbury for an extra 2 hours,
Harmony Jewels Millbury Chain of Lights
we played for Manor on the Hill (Elderly residence) in Leominster, Companies Twenty20 Leasing and We Work in Boston (where we got to be on Channel 7 NEWS for 15 seconds!)
Harmony Jewels at Cary's party 2016
Harmony Jewels at We Work
Harmony Jewels at Coco's Party #3
and even a marvelous gala for the Boston Plumber's Association at the famous Hampshire House above Cheers Pub! We even got to sing at my Whole Foods Market in Bedford (Though I still spent more on my groceries than I made that day- oh well!) And all the while we are singing about Jesus, Joy, miracles and love!
Harmony Jewels at Whole Foods
One of our favorite shows was at the St. Patrick School in Stoneham! All those excited kids singing along! What fun! It also became an opportunity to teach a bit between songs about the true meaning behind the words!
Harmony Jewels at St Patrick School Collage
Next Christmas I plan to be ready and open up my schedule for more opportunities to share Jesus in song to the world! This year I was a bit crazy with student recitals and my kids in The Lion King (Caleb as Simba!) and an on-line course on top of it all! But how can God use the Harmony Jewels to spread His light year round?
Rich Evans had a good idea: Patriotic music! There can be a demand for music for July 4th, Veteran's Day, Memorial Day, 911 remembrance events...
And we all come from churches, (Most of us from our own praise team at the BCC) why not share our light at weddings and memorials and benefits with hymns, spirituals, gospel and worship songs?
Shall we have some swing Tunes and "American Standards" available for corporate functions and nursing homes? Can't forget the group does have the Queen of SCAT on soprano... who me?
We will be recording a demo in February so you all can better hear what we are doing!
In this current climate of political/ social fear I am grateful to be part of the solution... we are an ethnically diverse, white black, Hispanic group with one vision to shine God's light of love brightly through the music we share!
You can hire The Harmony Jewels by contacting me directly at 617-686-7075 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You a can also see/ hear audio/ video of this and other musical projects I am leading/ offering at my Gig Salad profile