Every time I sit down to write something all I can think is: "yikes, what a year." I've always looked at this concert as something I get to do, especially this year. It's a lot of work, a lot of time, not nearly enough legitimate musical practice, and involves a lot of people without whom it would never get off the ground. But it is a privilege to put on— I don't think I'll ever look at it as something that's burdensome or too big of stressor because playing this instrument in this room makes me the luckiest person on the planet. 

I used to worry much more than I should about making sure we had a good headshot on this page with my Santa hat and bow tie etc. This year, being what it is, I've got one of my favorite Christmas photos here. This was taken in MBS church on the afternoon of our fourth Christmas Spectacular (the first one at MBS) in 2018. I'm wearing the undershirt and slacks I wore to Mass, and in these moments there are usually a million thoughts running through my head about what has to happen in the next few hours. All I remember is we were standing there talking about how big to make loops of yarn around the ends of the pews for 'reserved seating' signs to hang from and apparently something was funny. I love this photo, it's how I feel every weekend there. 

To the people of Most Blessed Sacrament Parish— you welcomed me to your parish almost four years ago. I've been a part of your weddings, your funerals, your Sacraments of Initiation, Benediction, and everything in between. Every second of it has been an absolute honor. My singular hope with this performance is to give you a little piece of 'normalcy' as we make our way to Christmas. 

If you're from Baton Rouge and and just want to hear some Christmas music, by all means grab a ticket. We'd love to see you there! There is a small army of people who work together to make this performance happen, chief among them is Amy Geeding, who for the sixth consecutive year, will be embarrassed when I point her out at the performance. She has been there from the beginning, lending a critical musical ear and sacrificing enormous amounts of time and energy for these shows to happen. Father Phil Spano, Kathy Duplessis, Penne Leier, Jean Mancusso, and many others work together to be the funniest, most fulfilling group of people to play alongside. To them I am very very grateful. We all hope to see you on December 18! 

Michael 

©2020 by Michael McDowell