This week, as part of our Advent devotional, we get to hear Alison Moffet’s beautiful piano renditions of “Away in the Manger” and “What Child Is This?” I was able to chat with Alison about her music and her experience working with a retirement community. This is Advent for Alison.
Pastor Sarah: Alison, how long have you been playing the piano?
Alison: I have been playing piano for about 23 years, and organ for about 4 years.
Pastor Sarah: I understand that you play regularly at St. John’s Herr Estate. What is the community there like?
Alison: The community at St. John’s Herr Estate is so welcoming. When I first started playing there, I didn’t have very much experience with the organ. From the very beginning, they supported and encouraged me and never mentioned the mistakes I made along the way. They love music and hymns and really engage in the service, so it’s incredibly gratifying to play for their afternoon worship service every Sunday.
Pastor Sarah: Working with an older community, how do they connect to music?
Alison: Working with an older generation, and especially St. John’s Herr Estate, has been such a blessing and a learning experience, in a good way! While Luthercare is a Lutheran organization, the residents themselves come from all different religious backgrounds and often have favorite hymns that I’m not familiar with. I love taking requests and learning the old favorites!
Pastor Sarah: Why do you think that people are drawn to music during the Advent and Christmas season?
Alison: I think so many people are drawn to music around this time of year because it reminds them of their childhood and the warmth that family brings. This time of year is so often muddled with the chaos of shopping, gift wrapping, baking, and hosting. The music of Christmas and Advent reminds us of the simplicity of what the holiday is really about.
Pastor Sarah: Do you have a favorite memory from this time of year that involved music?
Alison: One of my favorite memories from St. John’s Herr Estate is that every Christmas Eve service, one of the residents stands up and sings all of the verses of Away in a Manger a Capella. She even does the hand motions that go along with it. It’s such a joy for all of the residents.