Parties are just one part of the holiday season and I want to tell you about one I attended in early December and the musician who entertained the gathering.
It was a holiday party for members of Chapter 422 of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. In addition to a delicious buffet of turkey and all the trimmings, musician Al Roda, 51, a 23-year resident of Howard County, played keyboard and sang songs of the season.
Al always makes our holiday parties enjoyable and memorable because he interacts with his audience. He holds sing-a-longs and provides Christmas trivia quizzes. Sometimes he even has trivia questions about the songs he performs. Everyone attending agreed that overall this year's quiz was hard.
In order to challenge you, to help you exercise your brains and to have fun, questions from Al's 2014 quiz are interspersed within this column. Try answering the questions as you read through the column. The answers appear at the end.
In what country did the poinsettia plant originate?
In what modern-day country is the birthplace of St. Nicholas?
According to Al, "The quiz is compiled from readily available sources on the Internet such as holiday quizzes, stories, historical information, as well as personal trivia knowledge."
St. Nicholas was originally of what ethnic origin?
What are the names of the three Magi?
Formerly owner and director of the Laurel School of Music from 2005 to 2011, Al is now a private music instructor of over 50 students.
Which one of the Magi brought frankincense?
Al Roda Music, based from his home studio, provides music instruction, live entertainment and DJ services.
Which book of the Bible contains the names of the Magi?
What color are the berries of the mistletoe plant?
Who is officially credited as the author of "Auld Lang Syne"?
In my book, Roda was a child prodigy in the music field. He began studying piano at the age of 5. At 7 years old, he began studying violin and at age 9 the trumpet.
Which U.S. president banned Christmas trees from the White House?
As a young violinist, Roda played with several area adult orchestras, including a solo performance at age 10 with the Columbia Union College Orchestra, in Tacoma Park. Columbia Union College became Washington Adventist University in 2009.
Quaid-e-Azam's birthday is a Dec. 25 celebration in which country?
At age 12, while still in elementary school, Roda played trumpet with the Columbia Union College Band.
What Christmas item takes its name from an old French word, which means spark?
What is the title of the biggest selling Christmas single, globally?
Later, at Shenandoah Valley Academy, in New Market, Va., Roda was first trumpet for three years in the state award-winning band. He studied piano and voice with the organist and choir director there and cello and saxophone under the faculty of the award-winning SVA musical program.
Which two states in the U.S. have towns called Christmas?
Which two reindeer have names that mean thunder and lightning?
While attending Columbia Union College, Roda was first trumpet and soloist with the band and brass ensemble, touring Europe twice. He also toured nationwide with them for several years.He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in medical technology in 1985.
In the Roman calendar, what number month is December?
In the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas," '… my true love brought to me nine ...' what?
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Roda graduated in 1991 with a Juris Doctor from the University of Baltimore School of Law. He practiced medical science and then law until 2005 when he took over the directorship of the Laurel School of Music.
What is the birth sign of people born on Dec. 25?
In Charles Dickens' novel "A Christmas Carol," who was Scrooge's dead business partner?
Al Roda can be reached at email@example.com or 301-498-4479.
In which Christmas carol does this line appear: "Bring me flesh, and bring me wine, bring me pine logs hither"?
In what year in this millennium did Christmas and the first day of Hanukkah coincide?
Christmas quiz answers are: Mexico; Turkey; Greek; Balthazar, Melchior and Caspar or Gaspar; Balthazar; none; white; Robert Burns; Theodore Roosevelt; Pakistan; tinsel; "White Christmas'; Florida and Arizona; Donner and Blitzen; tenth; ladies dancing; Capricorn; Jacob Marley; "Good King Wenceslas" and 2005.