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Not Your Typical Christmas Concert December 16, 2007

Posted by flutebrarian in Music Performances.
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Playing a Christmas/Holiday concert with the Tuscarawas Philharmonic is never a dull thing. I’ve played many Christmas concerts over the life of my community band and orchestra career and many a painful Christmas sing-along after the long ordeal of Nutcracker Suites/Leroy Anderson medleys/Messiah excerpts leaves one’s chops sore and tired.

But not so with an Eric Benjamin concert. Sure, there are plenty of familiar Christmas tunes to put one in the mood for the season, but Eric interweaves them with intricate counter-melodies and lots and lots of notes and noodles. Let’s just say one does not expect to sight read the concert!

This year’s concert included what seemed to be a smaller children’s chorus than usual, although the sound and enthusiasm from the kids seemed much more lively than normal. One of my favorites was brought out from the vault (kind of like the Disney animated movies) this year, “Here in My House,” a delightful partner song to unite Christmas and Hanukkah¬† traditions.

Our workout for this year was a new work called “Music for a December Day.” This turned out to be quite a workout and one that I definitely will need to brush up on my scales up to high C# and D to be able to play next year. Ah, but the effect was there at least. Thank goodness for doubling with the piccolo!

But wait! There’s more…

Not only were we joined by the kids’ chorus, but Divine Hope, a gospel group from Akron, Ohio performed a set of holiday numbers with us as well. The rhythms and accidentals are tricky with these arrangements since they are transcribed from aural recordings before they are orchestrated.¬† But we let the music happen and with only a couple of glitches, the performance was met with wild enthusiasm from both audience and orchestra.