Saturday, August 27, 2016

Luxembourg Wrap-up: Music!

Hi, everyone! We are alive and well and back in Oregon. I guess I'm going to need to change our blog header!

If you're curious about how the move went, how we got ourselves and our stuff back across the ocean, the various mishaps along the way, what this last month of adjustment to the US has been like, and what the heck Pete and I are doing now for work, not to worry. I will catch up on move stories later, after I catch up on a couple Lux wrap-up posts.

Music was a huge part of our lives in Luxembourg. Pete and I led the music program at church for three and a half of our four years living there, and I was eventually hired part-time. We spent nearly every Saturday morning rehearsing and every Sunday setting up, playing, and tearing down for services. By default, I became the percussionist, taking up a type of box drum called the cajon. And with a shortage of available bass players, we convinced Daphne to pick up the bass guitar. It wasn't long before she was singing background vocals and playing most weekends with us, and James even joined us a couple times on background vocals. But we officially became a family band in November 2015 when we played a set at the Christmas market, nicknaming ourselves The TitteringTones. Throughout our time overseas, we met and bonded with other musicians over rehearsals, performances, and casual music nights in our home or at the park. Music was a way of life for us in Luxembourg.

So it seemed fitting that in lieu of a a going-away party we should host a farewell concert, to show our love and appreciation for our friends and adopted family in our adopted country.

I made a Luxembourgish flag-themed flyer
We put together a set of some of our favorite songs, including three Daphne + Pete originals.
I asked Daphne to write a song about leaving Luxembourg
Here is a video of the resulting concert, mistakes and all, held in our church building. We had a nice little crowd of church members, coworkers, and friends in attendance. James and Daphne's teachers even came along.
(click through to the post if this does not show up in the email version)

Our friend, Almyra, took some photos:

And we even had the privilege of collaborating with a couple of musician friends on some songs.

In May and June we wrapped up our time at church, including playing for our international potluck service.

In June, the outdoor pianos returned to Luxembourg City.

This year we decided to enter the city's contest to win an iPad for recording a video at one or more of the pianos, since we'd spent so much time practicing for our farewell concert anyway. For the added cuteness factor, we chose a song that heavily featured the kids.

(if you read this in email, the video may not show up unless you click through to the post)

And lo and behold, we won (tied for?) 2nd place! The winners were invited to a reception at city hall. It was all in Luxembourgish so we didn't quite catch everything that was going on, but Pete and the kids were unexpectedly asked to reprise their song for the assembled crowd along with the other winners.

And then we appeared in the Luxembourgish national newspaper!

By the way, do you see the woman in the bright blue blazer next to James & Daphne? She presented the awards, and I had a nice chat with her after the ceremony. After we spoke for awhile, we had the following exchange:

Me: So what exactly is your role here?
Nice Woman: I'm the mayor of Luxembourg City.
Me: Oh! Wow. I'm so sorry, I should have known that. How embarrassing! 
Nice Woman: Yes, I was already the mayor for 18 years from 1982 to 1999. And I became the mayor again when Xavier Bettel became prime minister in 2013. You can see my photo with all the other mayors on the wall over there.
Me: Cool, um, I'll go look at those!

Whoops. But did I mention the whole ceremony was in Luxembourgish!? As are all political posters!

So anyway, we got to meet the mayor our last week in Luxembourg!