Musical diversity at holiday concert

Hannah Matson

On Dec. 11, the combined sound of Liberty’s marching band, jazz band, orchestra, and choir shook Maywood’s gymnasium and filled the audience with festive cheer. The annual winter concert featured diverse songs ranging from traditional holiday tunes to some of the Beatles’ greatest hits. When played together, the songs sent a message of peace and unity and had something for every member of the audience.

“We wanted to have a concert that honors a uniting hope for mankind,” choir conductor Robin Wood said. “I really wanted to do a broad-based, agape brotherhood styled concert for the kids, so we did some Hanukkah, some Christmas, and quite a few ‘reach out across to the world’s cultures.’ It speaks to inviting people in.”

Orchestra also took the multicultural approach, switching between Hanukkah and Christmas songs throughout their portion of the concert. The band, however, shook things up by playing a Beatles’ medley left over from the marching band season along with some seasonal tunes.

“I think the other groups are doing plenty of Christmas and Hanukkah stuff and I thought it might be a nice change of pace,” marching band director Phil Donley said before the concert. “I didn’t really want to spend too much budget money buying concert music that we’d work on for maybe two months.”

At the end of the concert, all four groups combined to perform a sing-along version of “White Christmas”. This arrangement of “White Christmas” was ideal for performing this year because it was written for marching band instrumentation instead of concert band instrumentation.

“We just wanted to change things up this year,” Donley said. “White Christmas gives the choir a little more to do than just caroling on the melody. They want to be able to sing something that represents them too.”