DURING this past holiday season as I was perusing the classified section of the newspaper, I came upon a section advertising Christmas wreaths. There were many types in different sizes, some with berries and nuts in addition to the more usual pine cones and ribbon. In the midst of these ads, however, was an unusual one. ``Hand delivered wreaths in Boston are $22. Quality ribbon, cones & berries. Delivered by a banjo-playing caroler from Swan's Island ME Wreath Co.'' The contact person was one Doug Day, whom I assumed to be the banjo-playing caroler.
This fired my imagination immediately. One had to admire Mr. Day's creativity and ingenuity. Also, I felt an empathic bond with someone trying to earn a living making music.
As a public school music teacher, I sometimes wonder what it would have been like to have taken a more divergent pathway in musicmaking.
Mr. Day's notice reminded me of one I had had printed up some months before, when I made an unsuccessful attempt to start a music group of my own: CANTICUM NOVUM a fledgling vocal ensemble consisting of one soprano is LOOKING FOR SINGERS. Do you like to sing: -- Madrigals? -- Early Music (Medieval, Renaissance)? -- Motets? -- 20th Century (Menotti, Debussy, Durufl'e, Hindemith)?
-- Avant-garde (Steve Reich, R. Murray Schafer)?
If so, I'd love to hear from you! CONTACT: Carol (phone).'' Clearly, Mr. Day was in the same enterprising frame of mind as I had been when I circulated my notice at the local Allied Arts craft fair and on bulletin boards around town.
Now that it has been months since I attempted that plan, I see it was not bold enough. Something grander in scope, more innovative, was needed. Just today a friend brought me the ``Music Industry Directory,'' which lists, among other things, more than 270 music festivals in the United States, Canada, and abroad.
As I leafed through the pages, particularly the festival listings, a wonderful idea came to me. I promptly devised a new announcement, to be published in a newspaper with a large circulation, rather than merely posted about town.
``Singer looking for others to form a cappella vocal ensemble to sing classical music from all periods, some avant-garde, at various music festivals during summers. Availability to rehearse is no object; you can participate, regardless of where you live. I send you the sheet music, you practice, and we meet in mid-June at the first festival. Audition by cassette tape, 2 contrasting art songs. Repertoire and interpretation decided by correspondence and ballot. Possible rehearsals by telephone can be arranged at times when the rates are lowest for the calling party, and voice tapes may be exchanged to aid in long distance part-singing rehearsal. Metronome clicks should be included on all tapes. Write or call Carol.'' My address and phone number, which I will save for the ad, will be included, of course.
I imagine the tumultuous response to this advertisement will quite offset the expense of running it a month or so.
What do you think, Mr. Day?
Carol E. Hall