The Corner

Unsilent Night

A reader from Boulder, Colo., sends a note that may interest you. It responds to an item in Impromptus today. She says, “In 1994, the Fairview High School Christmas concert was going to close with the students processing out of the auditorium singing ‘Silent Night.’ Huge controversy, with multiple cries against ‘religion in the public schools.’ The school district’s attorneys said no. Since it was too late for the music teacher to arrange for something else, the students began to recess in silence. The audience was having none of it, and started singing ‘Silent Night’ themselves. That story still gives me goose-bumps.”

Holy mackerel, that took brass (and I’m not talking about trumpets and trombones). By the way, I imagine the Boulder people were not able to call that concert a “Christmas concert.” “Winter Serenade”?

Another reader writes to say, “Every December in Chicago, they have the Christkindlmarket. If they called it the ‘Christ Child Market,’ the world would come to an end! And the local bank flashes ‘Happy Holidays,’ followed by ‘Feliz Navidad.’” True, true: You can’t say “Merry Christmas,” but you can say it in Spanish. “And, in my daughter’s public school, they banned Handel but allow black spirituals.” For sure, and thank goodness for spirituals.

We could do this forever, but I’m stopping now. Happy Halloween! (Actually, it’s the day of the Crash, but in any case . . .)