Ananda Family News

Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Midsummer Night's Concert

Swami Kriyananda wrote so much music (over 450 individual pieces!) that much of it unintentionally tends to fall by the wayside, even with all the music we enjoy during service and at other events every week. Every once in a while, we try to correct this by putting on a concert full of little-heard and lesser-known songs and instrumentals. Plus, it’s a good excuse to enjoy more music!

This time around we had the concert in the evening, which helped give it a sweeter, more intimate feel, compared to the afternoons we often do. Another difference was that there were fewer full-choir pieces this time, with the bulk of the songs going to solos, with a few duets and trios as well. There’s a certain clarity and connection that comes through when a soloist sings a favorite song that they particularly chose to share with us, and we could feel the experience of these songs one after another building throughout the evening. Many people, even those who have heard dozens of Ananda concerts, commented on how special this one felt.

In addition to all the singing, Janice performed an instrumental from The Mystic Harp, Rita and Karen B. performed a dance duet to “Emerald Isle,” and Rita danced to “Farther Away than the Stars.”

If you missed the concert, or just want to ever-newly re-enjoy it, the video is already posted! (Due to technical difficulties, the last couple of songs are missing, and “Dublin Town” is off in its own separate video.) Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Fourth of July Celebration

This Saturday we held our annual Fourth of July Celebration at the community, with swimming, water balloons, potluck barbecue and picnic, and music. With 50+ people, we had plenty of tasty salads, side dishes, and desserts to go with our veggie burgers and dogs. See all the photos here!

The water balloon games this year started with the standard water balloon toss and gradually developed into a new invention in which one group of players tossed water balloons around in a circle, while an interlocking circle threw their balloons in the opposite direction. Increasing numbers of both balloons and participants kept things increasingly interesting.

The music included a couple of Mary Poppins classics (rewritten for yogis) and sing-alongs of “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and “Brothers.” Yogananda actually used to include “Battle Hymn of the Republic” in his Sunday services, and so we decided to give it an encore at church the next day, ending with Master’s version of the lyrics (line 2 edited by Swamiji):
In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
That the light of God within Him might enlighten you and me.
As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free!
His love is marching on. 
Happy “True Freedom Day” to all!

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