‘Sleigh Ride’ comes to campus

It’s that time of year again. Christmas music is playing on almost every radio station, shoppers are getting the rest of their presents and students are frantically preparing for the end of the semester. But amongst all the busyness there is an often overlooked tradition –the holiday concert season.

As part of this season, the Gannon University Concert Band will host its Christmas Concert at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Yehl Ballroom of the Waldron Campus Center.

The band will perform a total of seven pieces: “The Nightmare Before Christmas” by Danny Elfman, arranged by Michael Brown; “A Christmas Festival” by Leroy Anderson, setting by Robert W. Smith; “The Little Drummer Boy” arranged by Robert Wendel; “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” arranged by Jack Bullock, poem by Clement Clarke Moore, with Mr. A.J. Miceli as the narrator; “Coventry Carol” arranged by Richard L. Saucedo; “A Holst Christmas” by Gustav Holst arranged by Douglas E. Wagner; and “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson.

Dana Bennett has been the band director for the past four years. Regarding her favorite aspect of the concert Bennett said she thinks that there are so many great pieces in this concert.

“I would have to say ‘’Twas the Night Before Christmas’ is my personal favorite,” Bennett said, “as we had the chance to collaborate and feature one of our own faculty here at Gannon, Mr. A.J. Miceli, and tell this classic story together.

“With almost 40 members in the ensemble, opinions on their favorite pieces may be very diverse, but “I think ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ has been high on the list as many of them enjoy playing film music.”

Bennett’s thought seems to be correct. Megan Hamm, a freshman communication arts major and french horn player, said she loves playing “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

“It’s one of my favorite movies to watch around Christmastime and Tim Burton is one of my favorite directors,” Hamm said. “It’s cool playing and hearing the score without any of the characters singing.”

The band meets once per week to rehearse, which may prove a challenge in preparing the music.

“Most ensembles rehearse two to three times a week and have sectionals or private practice time outside of the normal rehearsals,” Bennett said.

“Thankfully, our members are committed and work diligently during our rehearsal time to learn their music and put all of the parts together.

“I am very proud of what these students are able to accomplish in only one short rehearsal a week.”

Hamm said she finds the rehearsals to be a bit therapeutic.

“It’s one of the most relaxing times of my week because I get to play and listen to different musical pieces,” Hamm said. “[It] lets me have a creative outlet.”

Band gives students the opportunity to participate in musical expression.

It is 39 members strong and always looking for new members.

For more information on the Gannon Concert Band or to inquire about becoming a member, contact Bennett at [email protected]




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