Each year, one of the most beloved and well-attended events of the Dunedin Music Society’s concert season is the Holiday Concert by the Dunedin Concert Band at the Dunedin Community Center. Local residents as well as winter residents come together to participate in the live music-making experience and share “the most wonderful time of the year”.
As is the custom with the Dunedin Concert Band, the repertoire of this concert program will allow amateur and professional musicians alike to challenge themselves with some more difficult pieces, while also including traditional holiday favorites many people know and love.
A few of the classical pieces in this year’s program include the Festive Overture by Shostakovich and the Candlelight Carol by choral composer John Rutter. According to an article by Maureen Buja featured in Interlude, “Shostakovich’s Festive Overture is a joyous bubble starting with a brilliant fanfare. Written for a concert in Moscow at the Bolshoi Theatre celebrating the 37th anniversary of the October 1917 Revolution, this 1954 piece seems to contain so much of Shostakovich’s life and humour… Shostakovich said that he’d originally written the work for the 30th anniversary, in 1947. He said that it represented the ‘state of mind of a man who has undergone the ordeals of war, who has defeated the enemies of the homeland, and now seeks to rebuild his country.’”
The Candlelight Carol is a Christmas carol with music and lyrics by English choral composer and conductor John Rutter, also famous for his Magnificat, Gaelic Blessing and many other works. This carol was written in 1984 and first recorded by the Cambridge Singers, Rutter’s own choral group. The carol focuses on the birth of Jesus and the love of the Virgin Mary for her son, in particular. Some of the lyrics include “How do you capture the wind on the water? How do you count all the stars in the sky? How can you measure the love of a mother? Or how can you write down a baby’s first cry?”
Some of the other pieces in the program are various themes from James Bond films – which were only featured at Christmastime when UK-born Maestro Stephen P. Brown was growing up – as well as The Sound of Music, another nostalgic family story told around the holidays. Finally, audiences will enjoy the well-known Ding Dong Merrily On High, Go Tell It On the Mountain, Jingle Bells, and Sleigh Ride.
Come and experience the sounds of the season with the Dunedin Concert Band!
This concert is ideal for ages 7+, and family-friendly. General admission (in advance) is by donation of $15, and DMS members can log in for a 33% discount.