Po-Hi musicians to perform Christmas concert

Ponca City Now - December 8, 2015 12:13 pm

The Ponca City High School Concert Band, String and Symphony Orchestras, along with the Steel Drum Band, will present a Holiday Concert at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 14, in the Howell Auditorium at the high school.

The orchestras are under the direction of Dan Larson, with assistants Paula Cochran and Katie Rolf. The bands are headed by David Christy, with assistants Keith Crocker and Andrew Orr. This evening of holiday music is free.

Opening the concert will be the Ponca City High School Concert Band. "Let the Bells Ring," (Based on “Ukrainian Bell Carol”), arranged by Robert Buckley, will be up first. This work was commissioned by the Naden Band of the Royal Canadian Navy in celebration of their 75th anniversary.

Next will be Yuletide Tapestry, arranged by Gary E. Parks. This arrangement weaves four holiday favorites together.

These featured works include "Sing We Now of Christmas," "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," "The Holly and the Ivy," and "Deck the Halls." This will be followed by "All is Calm" (Based on “Silent Night”). This setting was composed by Robert W. Smith, and celebrates the beauty and joys of the holiday season.

Soloists are Emily Batschelett, Giant Boykin, and Makayla Howard.

Bringing the Concert Band portion of the concert to a close will be an interesting setting of Jingle Bells, arranged by Jay Dawson.

The Steel Drum Band, under the direction of Andrew Orr, will perform a couple of festive selections. First up will be "Deck the Halls," arranged by Aaron Ziegler. They will conclude with "Ayko-Ayko," as arranged by Jeff Neitzke.

Continuing on with the concert will be the combined Symphony and Chamber String Orchestras. They will open with "It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," made famous by the late Andy Williams. Words and music are by Eddie Pola and George Wyle, and the arrangement by Bob Cerulli.

"In the Bleak Midwinter" by Gustav Holst will continue the program. This work is arranged by John Leavitt and is a Christmas carol based on a poem by the English poet Christina Rossetti, written before 1872 by request of a magazine. The poem became a carol when Holst put the poem to music around 1906.

The combined string orchestras will conclude their portion of the concert with "A Mad Russian’s Christmas," as performed by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and arranged by Bob Phillips. This work is based on Tchaikovsky’s Trepak.

The Ponca City High School Symphony Orchestra will take to the stage to complete the evening. The orchestra will open with "It’s Christmastime." This medley for symphony orchestra is arranged by Calvin Custer. Featured in the medley is "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," "Have Yourself a Merry Little

Christmas," "Silver Bells," and "I’ll Be Home for Christmas."

Next up will be "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24," as performed by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, by Paul O’Neill and Robert Kinkel, and arranged by Bob Phillips. This thought-provoking medley of Christmas tunes describes a lone cellist playing Christmas carols in the midst of the Bosnian war. The piece reflects the power, drama, and hope of a single musician in the midst of war, reflecting on the power of music to bring hope.

Bringing the concert to a conclusion will be "A Christmas Festival" by Leroy Anderson. This is a high-energy medley of several traditional holiday tunes.

The Ponca City High School Wildcat Band earned a Superior (1) Rating at OSSAA Regional Marching Contest this fall and the Ponca City High School Symphony Strings earned a Superior (1) Rating at OSSAA State String Orchestra Contest in November.

The community is invited to hear these outstanding ensembles.


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