Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Memories Part III: The Piano Guys

Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect. –Oren Arnold

This year, I wanted to spread the Christmas Season out a little bit and have the focus be on making memories as a family rather than on a huge pile of presents under the tree. Of course, we'll still have presents to open on Christmas morning. But I wanted to spend time on each other this year, too. As part of this we went to we went to The Piano Guys' Christmas concert on Saturday night.

We went out for dinner and then rode the Frontrunner {Utah's commuter rail, which has become a favorite way to travel for us} up to Salt Lake. It was snowy out and seemed a better choice than braving the roads and finding parking once we got there. There was one small hiccup; about half-way there was some sort of incident {word on the street was that someone slipped and hit their head/broke their nose} and we were delayed about 40 minutes. We still made it to Salt Lake in plenty of time for the concert {we just had to skip seeing the lights at Temple Square before} and were in our seats well before the show began.

We learned some fun Piano Guys trivia:
• Steven Sharp Nelson now has 15 cellos and they all have names. He only brought three to the performance; Bruce Lee, his black electric cello {and his white electric cello is named Chuck Norris}, his carbon fiber cello, Carmen Fibre, and his newest "traditional" cello, Marcello, as named by fans over at The Facebook.
• Between the four piano guys {Jon Schmidt – piano, Steven Sharp Nelson – cello, Al Van Der Beek – producer, and Paul Anderson – camera man} they have 16 kids. Steven's four kids are ages eight and under.
• They would like to make a video at all seven Wonders of the World. Their first was on The Great Wall of China. They are scheduled to film in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, at statue of Christ in February.

The Piano Guys is one of our favorite things to enjoy as a family. We love their videos. And their concerts do not disappoint. This is the third time we've been to see them and seeing them on their "home court" definitely has its advantages. When we went to see them in May, Alex Boyé performed Peponi with them and he returned again for this performance. It was amazing. Jon Schmidt's daughter performed again, singing Where Are You Christmas? this time. And part of the American Heritage Lyceum Philharmonic performed Beethoven's Five Secrets with them.

Generally, I'm not a fan of fan-recorded videos at a live concert. It just doesn't compare with the quality of a professionally produced video of the same song. And the excitement that the person who recorded it feels at being at the concert doesn't translate. But half-way through Jon Schmidt's mash-up of I Saw Three Ships and Waterfall, I realized that those are the kinds of things that are never going to be produced. When Jon Schmidt invited his father, Werner Schmidt, on stage, I knew this was something I would like to capture. Even if I can't duplicate the feeling of being there, I wanted to share this beautiful performance, which brought the audience to its feet, with you {have I ever mentioned how much I my iPhone?}.

When we went to see them in May, Steven Sharp Nelson invited his wife, Julie, on stage and together they performed a piece called Ashokan Farewell {many thanks to the fan who captured that moment}. I was hoping that she would be there again to perform with them and when they played A Thousand Years, Steven invited her to join them on the violin.

For their final number, Al Van Der Beek and Paul Anderson joined Jon and Steven on stage to perform Angels We Have Heard on High, followed by What Makes You Beautiful.

We had a wonderful evening and I hope it is a memory that the Not-So-Little Bugs will carry with them for many years.


Paulette said...

Sweet videos, Elizabeth. It's such a wonderful thing to spend time together as a family and make memories with your kids. Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!

Shay said...

We're doing the same thing this year...making memories instead of madly running round buying things.I feel wonderful about Christmas this year.

Have a wonderful Christmas Bug Family

regan said...

Thanks for the great videos! And your kids will definitely remember these wonderful, special events with you. I still remember going to the symphony and opera with my Mother when I was about 10. I played violin in school, and she knew I'd appreciate the performances. I still think back fondly on those special days out with her!

Hoping you have a very Merry Christmas!

Gene Black said...

Thank you for sharing the music. On this day it is soothing to my soul.