The Nova New Horizons Bands program will present their ninth annual Pictou County-based Christmas Concert at Christ Anglican Churtch in Stellarton starting at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 19. Admission is $10 per person and $8 for small children.
All proceeds from the concert will be split 50/50 between Christ Church and the Pictou County Fuel Fund.
This seasonal presentation will feature all five levels of the New Horizons program including the new beginner group which this term have been under the shared direction of program founder, administrator and teacher Paul Barrett and New Glasgow native Robyn Alcorn. Alcorn will be doing the “lioness’s share” of the conducting for this show.
The program opens with the Level 3 and 4 bands combined in a new arrangement titled “Fantasy On God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” According to Wikipedia a fantasy is a musical composition with its roots in the art of improvisation and because of this it seldom approximates the textbook rules of any strict musical form. This new work written by Paul Barrett certainly matches that description. A beautiful version of “Coventry Carol” follows featuring the Level 4 Band.
The beginner band will offer up the classic “Jingle Bells” done up in a new arrangement and also “Two Sides of Christmas” – a medley of “Good King Wenceslas” from the sacred side of Christmas and “Jolly Old Saint Nicholas” from the secular side. The Level 1 group will be debuting a new arrangement of “Silver Bells” as well as saluting the famous folk singer Burl Ives with a delightful rendition of his well-known “A Holly Jolly Christmas” – a swinging holiday favourite that the band members really enjoy playing.
The Level 2 group has been rehearsing an arrangement of “Silent Night” by Craig Alberty and will also present a version of Rosemary’s Clooney’s well-known childen’s song “Suzy Snowflake.” The Level 3 band offers up the Bing Crosby classic “White Christmas” and a swinging arrangement of “Winter Wonderland” which features some special percussion instruments such as vibraslap and slide whistle.
In addition to the concert band presentations guest appearances will be made by the two New Horizons jazz bands from the Truro program. Nick Fisher’s Cobequid New Horizons Jazz Band will perform two selections in this concert. Nick has done an arrangement of Frank Loesser’s What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve? which was originally recorded by Ella Fitzgerald. The second selection is José Felicano’s “Feliz Navidad” arranged by Victor Lopez. The Junior Jazz Band will make their debut with “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” and “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!”
The Level 4 ensemble will close the program with two original arrangements. “Another 6/8 Christmas” treats the audience to three bouncy Christmas classics – all in 6/8 time. For the grand finale presentation Barrett has done an innovative arrangement of the Burgundian carol “Pat-A-Pan” which features every section of the band with an emphasis on percussion.
All in all it will be an evening of wonderful seasonal music presented by an enthusiastic group of senior musicians from New Glasgow, Truro, Dartmouth, Halifax, and points beyond once again together for a festive performance.