By Brittany Dekorte
The Washtenaw Community Concert Band performed their winter concert, ‘Holiday Journeys’ on Dec. 15 to a full Towsley Auditorium in Washtenaw Community College’s Morris Lawrence building. The concert, which was free to the public, included songs from around the world, such as Russian and Irish carols, Puerto Rican hymns and Chanukah tunes.
Washtenaw Community Concert Band’s next concert is Thursday, March 16, 2017 at 7:30 pm. The concert is titled “Journey to Ireland”, and will feature special guest James Curnow.
“The first song, Christmas Travelogue, really sets the theme for the concert, which is highlighting celebrations around the world,” said Lucinda Bartenelli, who served as the concert’s master of ceremonies. ‘Christmas Travelogue’ is an arrangement by James Curnow, features a mashup of holiday themes from around the world. Other songs included ‘Midnight Sleigh Ride’, ‘Chanukah is Here’, and ‘Feliz Navidad’.
Heather Smith, a music student at U of M Flint, sang vocals during parts of the concert. It was her first time accompanying the Washtenaw Community Concert Band. “I loved working with them, they are an awesome group, and you can really tell how much they enjoy what they are doing,” said Smith.
The concert featured a guest conductor who stepped in for one song, the band’s conductor emeritus Jerry Robbins. There was also a drawing to win a $100 gift certificate to Big George’s Home Appliance Mart, located in Ann Arbor.
The Washtenaw Community Concert Band has been conducted by Dr Christopher Heidenreich, who also works as part time faculty at WCC. According to conductor Heidenreich, the band performs four concerts in the regular season, which lasts from September to May. They also play three summer concerts.
Near the end of the show, the band played a holiday sing a long, encouraging the audience to join.
Shortly after beginning the sing a long, Heidenreich stopped the music and turned to the audience.
“I’m a big fan of the movie Elf, which states that ‘the best way to spread Christmas cheer is to sing loudly for all to hear’. I can’t hear you over the band, so it isn’t loud enough,” Heidenreich said.
The Towsley auditorium was nearly full for the concert, and the band received a standing ovation after their finale. Many of the concertgoers stayed after for refreshments, provided by the band.
Since 2010, the Washtenaw Community Concert Band has been in a partnership with WCC; students can play as part of the Washtenaw Community Concert Band and have it count for credit, as if it were a MUS 112 course. For more details on playing in the band, contact conductor Heidenreich.