|Ayutthaya Branch choir in shepherd costumes for district concert|
The program listed us the second choir from the last to sing. There was no applause during the first ten numbers. When it was our turn, we lined up in the choir loft, and when angalung players held up their instruments, a delighted gasp rippled through the chapel.
The restless audience hushed. Elder Gibbons cued us and we began. (My hands shook so much I could hardly play the piano.) Our 14 year-old violinist played beautifully. The choir sang with full hearts "He is the Son of God, the Messiah!". I was proud of them. And at the last note, with relief, I knew we had done our best.
But the more delightful part--a few hands began clapping in the audience, then the whole congregation burst into applause. For a no-applause concert, we were all surprised!
It was the angalung that made it special. The Thais love their history--and bringing an instrument of their own culture into a concert where adaptation to another culture was clearly portrayed--they saw the two cultures blended in celebrating the birth of our Savior.