Kishwaukee Concert Band to perform holiday concert

DeKALB – The Kishwaukee Concert Band will present a Holiday Concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17, in the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall in the Music Building at Northern Illinois University.

Bill and Sherry French are sponsoring this concert as a gift to their children and grand children.

The selections to be presented at the concert include “Little Drummer Boy” by Thomas Berghoff. Originally known as “Carol of the Drum,” the song relates how, as a poor young boy, he was summoned by the Magi to the Nativity of Jesus. Without a gift for the infant, the little drummer boy played his drum with Jesus’ mother, Mary’s approval.

“A Most Wonderful Christmas,” arranged by Robert Sheldon, has some of the most popular Christmas selections, including “Winter Wonderland,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town,” among others.

“The Christmas Song” by Mel Torme and Robert Wells was originally subtitled “Merry Christmas to You.” It also is known by the common subtitle of “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire.” The song was actually written during a blistering hot summer, in an effort to stay cool. Jerry Nowak has arranged this for band.

John Edmondson’s arrangement of the popular Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” was a 1942 song reminiscing about an old-fashioned Christmas setting.

The ever popular Christmas music standard, “Sleigh Ride,” composed by Leroy Anderson, is another Christmas song that was written during another heat wave. This song was started in July 1946, and finished in February 1948.

“Russian Christmas Music” is a selection that Alfred Reed was commissioned to write for a concert in Denver. The aim was to improve Soviet-American relations. It is only one movement, but can readily be divided into four sections. After a slow, quiet opening, it goes into a faster and louder antiphonal chant. The third section is a Village Song which is much gentler. The Cathedral Chorus starts quietly, but builds to a thundering chorale marked by liberal use of the chimes and gong.

“A Hanukkah Festival” includes traditional music of the eight-day Jewish holiday, more specifically, “Sevivon,” “Maoz Tzur” and “Hanukkah.”

“Holiday for Horns” is a French horn quartet with band accompaniment by Jack Jarret.

The Kishwaukee Concert Band is an all-volunteer membership of people older than 18 who have played a wind or percussion instrument in the past. Rehearsals are held at Huntley Middle School on Wednesdays from 7:15 to 9:15 p.m.

The concert is free and handicap accessible. In case of bad weather, tune in to the local radio stations or check the band website:

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