I woke up this morning with a lovely bass solo from the Messiah rolling around my head. Last night we (I should say "I" since Matthew hightails it to the basement) hosted our annual Christmas Messiah sing along. I cannot believe how much I love it! The first year we had a very talented pianist who sight read the entire score, but since then we have played an mp3 and follow along with our own music. It is so nice to be reminded of the beautiful words and we try not to be too irreverent as we laugh uproariously at our slaughtered rendition of the trills. At the end of each song we breathe a long sigh and count it a victory if we at least got the last note right.
I couldn't help thinking about the Provo Tabernacle as we were singing. And it makes me cry that it burned down. I cannot even count the number of times that I have heard the Messiah there. My parents sang in a chorale and we not only would attend the performances, but my siblings and I would be given free rein of the building while they practiced. Truly we were supposed to be doing our homework, but it wouldn't take long before we set down our books and started exploring and hide and seeking. Up the spiral staircase and across the steep top aisle. Up even higher into the topmost seats. Over to the side to a little nook too small and hidden to be a comfortable spot for anyone. Oh, a little door into the rafters! Unfortunately always locked (shoulders sag). Back down and across to the back stand and down the narrow little stairway in the very back. I can smell it and hear the creaky floor, feel the smooth polished shine of the banisters and benches, see the light coming through the magnificent stained glass windows.
We also always had stake conference there so twice a year I would insist that we sit in the center top balcony where I could have the best view of all of the people! I would settle right in and commence gazing slowly and methodically around the entire audience -- a funny couple, unruly children, pretty dresses, cute boys... Then I would count how many people I could see from my school. Oh, and of course I listened intently to the speakers.
I cannot think of another building that I knew so well and I mourn.