Ah, the sandwich. Put something yummy between two slices of bread and experience nirvana (unless it’s liverwurst or pimento loaf…that’s just nasty). Few dishes cover such a broad spectrum of ingredients, textures and flavors.

Consider the most basic of the basic…two slices of bread with a slice of cheese in the middle. Butter the outsides of those pieces of bread*, add some direct, dry heat and the magic of grilled cheese is born. Dunking in a hot bowl of tomato soup is optional but desirable.

Also consider the far reaches of the sandwich, whether it be meatballs and marinara with roasted garlic and mozzarella cheese, salmon and cream cheese and onions and capers, weird meats and cheeses and sauces you’ve never even seen on the Food Network, or one that I used to get from a Vietnamese restaurant that added daikon and shredded carrots and sprouts and all sorts of crunchy things to the mix. No less magic than the grilled cheese but more complex and hard to make.

(Hungry yet?)

Which brings us to the choral music of Christmas.

Is there anything more basic and simple than the tune of “Silent Night”? Pull out the trusty uke and you’ll find there are only three chords…but it’s still a favorite and always brings a smile (full disclosure…we DO mess with it a bit by singing it in five languages but you get my point). It flows through the ear in a its own lilting way.

Of course, not every simple tune needs to stay simple. “Christmas Time is Here” certainly has an easy enough melody line but MAN…the dissonances and leaps from one note to another are a bear. It doesn’t SOUND hard but it sure is.

At the far end of the spectrum is something like “Glow”. It sounds difficult because it is difficult, one of the more unique pieces we’ve ever done for a holiday show. The more we work on it and the more it comes together, the more I like it.

All three of these examples are beautiful pieces that will captivate the audience but each presents its own challenges as we move our way through the fall. The journey for “Silent Night” is probably a short one but you’re going to want your hiking boots and a sherpa for “Glow”. Yet another wonder of choral singing that we have such a variety available to us that we can share.

* Replace the butter on the slices of a grilled cheese sandwich with mayonnaise for true perfection. Trust me, the Blogmeister and the kitchen are good friends.