Southwestern Ohio Symphonic Band to present annual holiday concert

The Southwestern Ohio Symphonic Band will present its annual holiday concert on Sunday, Dec. 6, at 2:30 p.m. at MUM’s Dave Finkelman Auditorium.

The concert is free.

Directed by Chris Brandenburg, conductor, and Dan Nichols, associate conductor, the festive concert will be split in two 30- to 40-minute segments with an intermission. A reception in the lobby of the auditorium will follow the concert.

“It’s a nice afternoon of great Christmas music to start off the holiday season. We look forward to the performance,” Brandenburg said.

Special guest Cat Gorman, soprano soloist will join the group on “Merry Christmas Everyone!” arranged by Steve Reineke and “The Christmas Song” by Mel Torme and Robert Wells. Gorman recently made a NYC cabaret debut, performing three shows at the Don’t Tell Mama cabaret singing “Songs, Stars, and Stories,” directed by Marilyn Maye and Barry Levitt.

Other selections featured at the concert will include “Symphonic Highlights from Frozen” arranged by Stephen Bulla and “The Polar Express” by Alan Silverstri and Glen Ballard. Another highlight during the first half of the program will be Dave Helton’s narration of “Santa’s Reindeer Team” by John Miller.

The band will perform additional favorites such as “The British Eighth” by Zo Elliott, Malcom Arnold’s “Prelude Siciliano and Rondo” and “The Free Lance March” by John Phillip Sousa. Santa is also scheduled to stop by.

“It’s a nice, fun afternoon with a lot of good Christmas spirit and Christmas music to listen to,” said Brandenburg.

Last year, about 550 guests attended the holiday concert. Typically, the group performs three to four concerts per year.

Sponsored by the Miami University Regionals and Otterbein Middletown, the group is made up of about 95 all-volunteer musicians, primarily from Southern Ohio and Northern Kentucky — From as far north as Dayton to as far south as Edgewood Kentucky. The oldest member of the group is about 75 years old, and the youngest members include several select high school students from the region. About half of the members are music and elementary school teachers as well as band directors.

According to Brandenburg, the group is seeking additional sponsors. If individuals or corporations in the Middletown, Hamilton, West Chester and surrounding areas are interested in supporting the Southwestern Ohio Symphonic Band, they can call Mr. Brandenburg at (513) 942-2803.

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