‘Tis the season to be jolly – even in August

Our next concert will be the Christmas Spectacular at the Tower Theatre, Shorncliffe.

Last Christmas we took part in a Christmas Spectacular organised by the Salvation Army in Hythe, of which I am also a member. The event brought together the orchestra, the Salvation Army brass band and the combined forces of the Salvation Army Choir and the Shepway Community Choir. The success of the evening took us all by surprise. It sold out weeks in advance which meant that around 350 people attended a relaxed and fun concert.

We are doing this in December. So here I am in August, having had to force myself to listen to and select Christmas music. The format of the evening is going to be same as last year. The orchestra and band will accompany two great carols – O Come All Ye Faithful and Hark the Herald Angels Sing. The orchestra will join forces with the band for a massed piece, accompany the choirs in a Christmas Medley and contribute two pieces of our own.

The Polar Express Concert Suite – although from a fairly recent film – is already a Christmas classic and one that my family and I always watch in the final days before Christmas. It has some great music and the piece will present a challenge to us. It also hits the two requirements of being musically satisfying to play and accessible and familiar to the audience. You can hear it here: http://www.alfred-music.com/player/BelwinPopOrchestra05-06/FOM04009/playerflash.html
Our second piece, at the moment, is going to the Les Patineurs by Emile Waldteufel also known as the Skaters’ Waltz. The name might not be familiar but when you hear it you will know it. Combining with the Salvation Army Band we are also going to look at A Most Wonderful Christmas by Robert Sheldon. This is a fun Christmas arrangement including Winter Wonderland, I’ll Be Home for Christmas, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. This can be heard here: http://www.alfred-music.com/player/BelwinOrchestra2008/29701/playerflash.html

In addition to these, the Christmas Medley with the choirs, and the two carols are the same arrangements as last year so they should be easy enough to polish up.

During this term we will also begin rehearsing for our Spring Concert in which we play a full Symphony and couple of other more serious works. I will be making selections over the next few weeks so if you have any suggestions then let me know.

Wes Carroll

About rogerpinnock

Chairman of Ashford Sinfonia
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