‘A Most Wonderful Christmas’ to be performed by Southwestern Ohio Symphonic Band

Residents are in store for a musical celebration early in December as the Southwestern Ohio Symphonic Band presents its annual holiday concert, “A Most Wonderful Christmas.”

“We do the concert early enough in December that a lot of people can come, and it’s something that people really look forward to,” said Danny Maddox Nichols, music director, of the Southwestern Ohio Symphonic Band.

Over the years, he said, the band has added a veteran’s tribute, which we do at every concert. The group also takes pride in playing a variety of musical selections, which appeal to a wide range of audience members.

“That’s really our staple. No matter what we call the concert, there’s something for everyone to enjoy listening to, and especially, during the holidays,” Nichols said.

The holiday performance will be held on Sun, Dec. 4 at 2:30 p.m. at MUM’s Dave Finkelman Auditorium. The concert is free and open to the public.

Conducted by Nichols, the concert will open with “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which was arranged by Walter Damrosch and John Phillip Sousa and edited by Keith Brion.

Other numbers on the first half of the program will include “Colonel Bogey March,” “Festive Overture,” and “Lux Aurumque.”

“The song ‘Salvation Is Created,’ will be dedicated to two band members, James Gast and Ken Dianis, who passed away recently.

“One thing that’s very special, and it’s kind of sad at the same time is the song we will dedicate to two longtime band members.. At the end of our last season, we lost two of our band members. One of our band members, James Gast, had been in the band for 44 years. He was our personnel director, and his last concert before he retired from the band was one year ago,: said Nichols. “Another gentleman, Ken Dianis, played tuba in the band for decades. We are going to play ‘Salvation Is Created’ to honor them and their memories.”

Before closing out the first half of the program, the band will play “Hands Across the Sea March” to honor the veterans in the band as well as those that are present in the audience.

The second half of program will begin with “Fanfare pour preceder La Peri” by Paul Dukas. The performance will continue with “Russian Christmas” by Alfred Reed, which features an extended English horn solo.

“A Most Wonderful Christmas” arranged by Robert Sheldon will include a medley of Christmas tunes prior to a visit from several elves from the North Pole, who will accompany Santa to the stage.

Another standout on the program is Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride,” which is an annual tradition for the band. This year, a handful of five-and-six-year-old children will join the band to play bells on the song.

The program will conclude with “Silent Night,” arranged by Sean O’Loughlin. The program will feature two 30-to-40-minute segments with an intermission. There will be a reception in the foyer following the concert.

How to go

What: “A Most Wonderful Christmas” presented by the Southwestern Ohio Symphonic Band

When: 2:30 p.m. Dec. 4

Where: Dave Finkelman Auditorium, Miami University Middletown, 4200 N. University Blvd.

Cost: Free

More info: Visit www.sosband.org

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