Oftentimes, when we hear a favorite Christmas tune, warm memories from Christmases past spring to the surface. There’s something about holiday music, with the pipes and bells and sweet remembered tunes, that bring the season to life.
You can catch the holiday spirit through music on Monday, Nov. 26, when the Westminster Municipal Band presents its annual community concert featuring “Sounds of the Season.” The concert begins at 7 p.m. at Carroll Arts Center in Westminster.
Director of the Band Sandy Miller said this is the band’s sixth annual Community Concert at the Carroll Arts Center but it is the third one to be scheduled on the Monday following Thanksgiving — a time that also highlights the Festival of Wreaths at the Carroll Arts Center. Ironically, the band also contributes a wreath for the festival, and those who attend may bid on the many wreaths on display.
“Last year’s concert was just about a sellout, with very few seats left in the auditorium,” Miller said. “The band has been working hard on the music for this concert since the beginning of September. We have a wide variety of music prepared,” she said, naming contemporary, sacred, fun, and traditional music. “This year our brass section will be showcased in ‘Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer’ and two of our flutists will share a beautiful arrangement of ‘O Holy Night.’ We’ll also have an audience sing-along of the most beloved Christmas Carols and another surprise or two.”
With contemporary songs like, “All I Want for Christmas is You,” and “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” traditional songs like “Greensleeves,” “White Christmas,” and “Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow” and carols like “The First Noel,” and “O Holy Night” plus a Christmas sing-along and a few tunes you may not know, like “Appalachian Snowfall,” “We Wish You a Calypso Christmas,” and “The Stars & Stripes for Christmas,” this concert has something for everyone.
“The band membership is currently finishing up our 125th year anniversary celebration year,” Miller said with pride. “Even though we are celebrating a milestone anniversary, our existence still is unknown to many in Carroll County and surrounding areas. We have found that sharing a holiday/Christmas themed concert helps us connect to our community.”
All of the band members volunteer their time and expertise, but Miller said there is a reason for that.
“We love what we do. Music speaks to all in many and various ways especially at this time of year, so if we can bring a smile to someone’s face or get a toe to tap in time, we will have accomplished our mission of sharing music with our community and beyond.”
The Westminster Municipal Band is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, and Miller said they are always looking for other musicians to join them. She said any member of the band would be happy to speak with anyone interested in joining them.
There is no admission fee to the concert and no ticket is required either, but donations are appreciated. Seating is first come first serve.
The Carroll Arts Center is located at 91 W. Main Street, Westminster.
For more information call the Center at 410-848-7272.
Paint a Christmas Sign
The Westminster Lions Club invites you to join them in painting a Christmas sign on Thursday, December 6 at the Westminster VFW.
With seven 16x16 sign designs to choose from, there is something for everyone’s tastes.
“The signs will be Christmas signs,” said Lions club member Susan Locascio. “I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas, Santa Stops Here, 'Tis the Season To Be Jolly, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Farm Fresh Christmas Trees, Merry and Bright, [and] Merry Christmas with the red truck (or color you would like) with a Christmas Tree.”
The cost is $35 for each sign painted and all materials are included, plus soda and water for the evening. Those who attend are welcome to bring snacks as well. Beer and wine will be available for purchase.
“Proceeds from the Paint Night will go to the community, Locascio said. “We hand out scholarships at the end of the school year, provide help with getting eyeglasses, donate to the Leader Dog program [and more]. We serve our community.”
There’s just one catch. You must reserve your spot by Nov. 22.
“This is a fun night out!” Locascio said. “People think they can't paint, but these signs are so easy and beautiful once they are finished. They make great Christmas gifts too, and there will be other signs besides the Christmas ones.”
Reserve a spot or learn more by calling Susan Locascio at 410-491-2590, Susie Coursey at 443-974-0940, or Jalna Brown at 410-597-7883.
Multiple Holiday Concerts at McDaniel
McDaniel College offers a plethora of opportunities to hear music to make the season bright.
The McDaniel College Choir will present the concert, “In Search of Peace” on Sunday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m. inside (Big) Baker Memorial Chapel on the college campus.
The varied repertoire includes song from traditional Hebrew text, well known songs like “Les Miserables, traditional African-American spirituals, carols like “Carol of the Bells” and the German carol, “Still, Still, Still” and more.
On Thursday, Dec. 6, McDaniel College Jazz Night takes place at 7 p.m. inside WMC Alumni Hall on the campus of McDaniel College. The McDaniel Jazz Ensemble directed by music lecturer Tim Jenkins will perform diverse styles of jazz, including classic big band swing, bebop, Latin, Funk, Jazz-rock and classic blues.
On Friday, Dec. 7, the McDaniel College Band Concert will perform at 7 p.m. inside WMC Alumni Hall. This 70-piece ensemble is made up of McDaniel College full-time undergraduate and graduate students, part-time students, faculty, emeriti faculty, alumni, administrative staff and musicians from the surrounding area.
Then, on Saturday, Dec. 8, the Westminster Symphony Orchestra will perform inside WMC Alumni Hall at 3 p.m. Senior music lecturer Linda Kirkpatrick directs the orchestra for this free concert, with members comprised of McDaniel students, students from Carroll Community College, and community musicians.
On Sunday, Dec. 9, at 3 p.m. the McDaniel College Gospel Choir will perform a free concert in WMC Alumni Hall with sounds that are deeply rooted in the rich traditions of the gospel, with dominant and harmonious vocals.
Then, on Sunday, Dec. 16 at 3 p.m. the Children’s Chorus of Carroll County performs inside (Big) Baker Memorial Chapel. There is nothing like the sound of children raising their voices together in song, especially in the Christmas season. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated. Learn more at www.ccccnotes.com.
Each performance listed will take place at McDaniel College, 2 College Hill, Westminster.