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Davis, California

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Humor: Entire congregation of local church hospitalized after string quartet plays jazz version of “Silent Night” at Christmas Eve service

“For Christ’s sake, stop the Goddamn music!”

***This page has been repeatedly updated to reflect new information about Sunday morning’s events as it has become available since our initial Breaking News Report***

During the Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve at St. Reagan Catholic Church 20 miles outside of Fresno, a major event of great public health concern occurred, requiring all 67 church congregants to be hospitalized. 

The event was initially investigated by local law enforcement and forensics experts as a potential gas or chemical leak — and even foul play — with major fears that the church’s cyber security network had been compromised. Cyber criminals may have been able to hack the church’s automated climate control system and bring the interior temperature down to a freezing 86 degrees — intolerable for the church’s Fox News-watching-aged worshipers.

Interviews conducted after the fact with some of the recovering victims of this mysterious “attack” revealed Sunday’s events to be of a far more disturbing and un-Christly nature than anyone could have imagined.

As it turns out, a string quartet that was hired for the service to play along with the church organist for the Christmas hymns is now at the center of the investigation. They stand accused of embellishing “Silent Night” with jazz chords and blue notes. As any self-respecting musician should know, jazz can be extremely dangerous around certain listenerships, especially old white people.

The chaos began during the hymn’s second verse when the quartet began adding a few dominant seventh chords into the mix, which caused a few worshipers to become light-headed. Unfortunately, the quartet took things much further, eventually incorporating augmented sevenths, dominant sharp 5/flat 9s, minor elevenths, minor thirteenths, Lydian chords and even some jazzy rhythms. The St. Reagan worshipers who had not already fainted or experienced panic attacks, nose bleeds, temporary hearing loss or jazz-induced joint pain were sent into a state of delirium when, during an unplanned instrumental interlude between verses, the first violinist broke into a Stephane Grappelli-style improvised gypsy jazz solo.

In the quartet’s defense, they may have been under the impression that this year’s Christmas service could have used some lightness and excitement since news events from the past few years threaten to diminish Christmas’s usual levels of joy and jubilation. Of course, there was last year’s fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Additionally, with Pope Francis struggling to deal with the child sex abuse scandals within the Church, the damning attorneys general reports in Pennsylvania and Illinois and the rise of #Nunstoo, St. Reagan’s Father Handsy, one of the hundreds of accused priests, pledged to make his Christmas sermon less erotic than usual. How dull!

The string quartet initially planned to play their jazzed-up arrangement of the hymn during the earlier 8:00 p.m. mass, but that was thrown into disorder when the incense set off the fire alarm. Consequently, the musicians exercised artistic and creative restraint and chose to wait until the later service.

While some outraged community members feel that the quartet inflicted this physical harm on the congregation accidentally, others are pointing to the violist, spinning his status as an atheist to suggest that he could have “had a motive” for wanting to play music that is neither wholesome nor Godly. An examination of his social media accounts shows that a few days before, the violist shared a meme of Jerry Seinfeld (also not Catholic) in “The Bee Movie” saying, “You like Jazz?” — coincidence???

***7:28pm update***

County prosecutors are proceeding against the four string players with charges of conspiracy to commit musical harassment, musical vandalism, musical fraud, assault on the ears, indecent musical exposure, disturbing the peace (literally) and of course, “A minor” in possession.

Written by: Benjamin Porter— bbporter@ucdavis.edu 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by individual columnists belong to the columnists alone and do not necessarily indicate the views and opinions held by The California Aggie


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