A Random Image

A Quality Band playing Quality Christmas Music

Believe me; I know it’s early to be talking up Christmas.  Speaking editorially, I avoid all retail stores from mid-October until the week before December 25th so that I don’t have to see all the overdone marketing schemes, screaming kids, and scary Santas.  On top of that there is a LOT of TERRIBLE Christmas music covers out there.  But the Civic Band isn’t a bad cover group or a pop flavor of the week, and Reg does an excellent job selecting rich musical arrangements each holiday season.  

Reg once again pulled out a recent favorite of the band, John Tatgenhorst’s arrangement of “We Three Kings.”  Tatgenhorst is a music composer and arranger for film and television, including Batman: The Animated Series.  He’s also done two large scale Christmas projects, notably one in 1984 with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of London and the Chicago Synthesizer-Rhythm Ensemble, recording the album Turned on Christmas.  Talk about a combination!  The blog Keeper of Records ranks this album as one of “The Best of the 12 Discs of Christmas” and has this to say:

“It’s not exactly Switched-On. But it’s not quite Mannheim Steamroller either. What it is is an interesting collaboration between the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of London and the Chicago Synthesizer-Rhythm Ensemble. There’s a heavy emphasis on the orchestral here. Synthesizers take a lead voice here and there, but are never overpowering. The main players seem to be percussion, brass and strings. You’ll hear Ann Mortifee singing on O Come, O Come Emmanuel; Carol Of The Birds; God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen; and Silent Night. This album appears to never have been reissued on CD. Although it does have a very ’80s sound (some may mistake it for production music), it has held up well.” 

Yes, it does have a very ‘80s sound, but that’s alright.  “We Three Kings” features the Alto Saxes and French Horns and really shows what both instruments can do.  One would wonder if it was wishfully intended for Stan Kenton’s “Mellophnium Band” of the early nineteen sixties, which recorded A Merry Christmas filled with several wailing mellophonium parts.  I think if any band members just happen to own a quality Conn 16E mellophonium they should bring it in and wail on this tune…

The band is quickly working up this tune among other holiday works.  Trust me, even if you are a scrooge you are going to like this stuff.  We still have open practices every Wednesday night up to the concerts and would love to have you join in.

See you Wednesday!

Posted at 10:39 am on October 28th, 2008. RSS Feed

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