December 10, 2011

A mix of holiday fare at upcoming concert


PLATTSBURGH — Expect a mix of seasonal fare at Sunday's "Holiday Concert" in the Chazy Central Rural School auditorium.

The concert features the Elementary Band; Concert Band; Wind Ensemble; and the elementary, junior-high and high-school choruses.

"One-hundred and twenty-five kids take lessons here and are involved in the band program," said Frank Langr, band director. "The school population is under 500, so it's a pretty high percentage. It's a nice tradition of music here at Chazy school."

The Elementary Band and Elementary Chorus perform "Caribe Noel," "Walking in the Air" and "Jingle Bell Rock."

"Some fifth- and six-graders play percussion instruments on 'Caribe Noel,'" said Megan A. Yonteff, choral director. "'Walking in the Air' is from the movie, 'The Snowman.' It's a very beautiful and flowy piece. They sing it beautifully. 'Jingle Bell Rock,' that's a tradition. That's their favorite."

The Concert Band plays "Fanfare for a Holiday Celebration," "In Dulci Jubilo," "The Holly and the Ivy" and "Jingle Jazz." The Wind Ensemble performs "Christmas Calypso," "Gesu Bambino" and "The Polar Express (Medley)."

Decked in black and white, the students perform an array of music including traditional carols and more rocking and swinging tunes such as "Jingle Bell Rock."

"You need things like this at this time of year," Langr said. "It's just so important to have music and a sense of community. Some of my nicest moments have been at these concerts with the kids up there and the community supporting it. It's a nice, positive feel. You need to create memorable things that last and people enjoy."

The audience will "Have A Merry Little Christmas" sing-along at the end of the concert.

"We promise to have a special visitor," Langr said. "We always have Santa come at the end. Parents can bring kids down and take pictures and have a candy cane."

The Junior High Chorus performs "We Three Kings and All That Jazz," "Let it Snow/Winter Wonderland," "Jingle, Jolly Christmas," "Silent Night" and "Santa on the Housetop."

"'We Three Kings and All That Jazz' is a jazzy rendition of 'We Three Kings' with a rock 'n' roll part in the middle. In 'Let It Snow/Winter Wonderland,' in that piece we have two soloists (Sydney Pelton, Hannah McNally)," Yonteff said.

The Senior Chorus sings "This Little Babe," "Merry Christmas, Darling" and "African Noel."

"'This Little Babe,' by Benjamin Britten, is from a larger work called 'The Ceremony of Carols,'" Yonteff said. "It's usually performed at Christmas time by advanced children's choirs. It's a very impressive piece that breaks up in three parts of craziness. Students love to sing it, and they sing it very well."

"African Noel" will be performed a capella.

"A traditional piece, melody of 'African Noel' is placed in many different Christmas songs among the choral repertoire," Yonteff said. "It's rather challenging, and we will also have percussion instruments."

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