to our fans and friends all around the world!
… regardless of your religious or spiritual persuasion 🙂
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukah, Kwansaa, the Winter Solstice or whatever … even if “Bah! Humbug!” is the best you can do right now … all of us here at Orleans Central wish ALL of our fans and friends around the world a most Joyous Holiday Season and a very peaceful and prosperous New Year!
In the Hoppen family, we were raised Episcopalian (that’s Christian Protestant one-step removed from Catholic 🙂 by virtue of our mother’s heritage. Our father was an Agnostic (or maybe even an Atheist), but a warm-hearted man nonetheless of Jewish descent.
We had an equal number of Christian and Jewish cousins in our generation and had just as many Christenings as Bar Mitzvahs to attend. So, at this time of year, there was a Christmas tree in our house and Menorahs in others. Yet we all celebrated the giving and receiving of gifts and the joyous seasonal spirit together.
This picture is from 1960, depicting shapes of things to come. Lane (left) became a trumpeter, Larry (right) a guitarist and Lance (center) was shorted a sax in favor of a clarinet to suck on for his school years (much to his chagrin). You can also get a glimpse of the keen fashion sense that has persisted to this day! 🙂
Very often, and especialy at this time of year, it was customary for the Hoppens to play and sing together around the living room piano. Our parents were working musicians who had met on a gig just after World War 2. Mom was a classically trained pianist and an awesome singer, just as fluent with the most difficult of compositions as she was with the standards of her day. Dad was a trumpet player who couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, vocally :-). While Dad became a businessman to support his growing family, Mom played club gigs until she was about 40 and taught piano until she was about 60.
In her later years, she played organ for a Unitarian church and, on a couple of occassions, we siblings (including sister Lynda) sang for the Christmas Eve service. The audio file of Sound the Song of Glory was captured by use of the cheapest of hand-held cassette players with a built in condenser microphone, sitting atop Mom’s Baldwin baby grand as we rehearsed for one such performance in 1984.
This rendering of the Ave Maria from around the same time period still gives me chills every time I hear it. Does she not have the voice of an angel?
Finally, no Orleans Christmas card would be complete without New Star Shining, which has become a traditional staple of my own modern church performances.
The Holiday Spirit continues, alive and well, as we raise our next generations.
To the right, Samantha, Claire, Maeve and Danielle Hoppen ’07. Samantha and Danielle are Lance’s, Claire and Maeve are Larry’s.
Left, Samantha gets her Christmas present Maltese who, sadly, left this mortal plane this past year.
Wherever you are on your life’s journey, we hope that this is a time when happy memories are being made for you and yours. Once again, all of us here at Orleans Central wish ALL of our fans and friends around the world a most Joyous Holiday Season and a very peaceful and prosperous New Year!
For Larry Hoppen, Lane Hoppen, Charlie Morgan, Fly Amero and our extended support team — Michael Malfesi, Marc Lewis, Steve Eberly, Tom Kallman, Lisa Walker and our too numerous to mention (but you know who you are) teammates, I remain yours truly …