I love Christmas!
And, oh boy, do I love the symphony Christmas concert! It just fills me with the Christmas spirit.
I only wish that I could have been at all of these concerts!
So in the name of the Christmas spirit of generosity, there was so much to enjoy that I couldn't share just one review.
Review: Holly Jolly Christmas Spectacular Symphony Jubilation Mash-up
An uncommonly well-danced production of "The Nutcracker" delighted a Saturday afternoon audience at the Midland Center for the Arts Auditorium.
"The symphony is pleased to once again be able to present 'The Nutcracker' with live orchestra," Great Falls Symphony Executive Director Carolyn Valacich said. "Tchaikovsky's great score deserves no less!"
No less indeed. Frankly, I think more symphony concerts should feature the live orchestra.
But the singalong is coming soon, right?
The program’s popularity can be explained in just two words: Beethoven’s Ninth.
It is Christmas, who wants shit we've never heard before anyways?
Plus, that piece is long. A little too long if you know what I mean -- I'm pretty sure only socialist like music that long. Plus, I want to sing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," possibly the greatest song on the subject figgy pudding ever written.
The program started with Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G minor, a four-part work featuring themes that would be familiar to many listeners.
Whoa! Slow down, Poindexter. I realize that I'll be forced to sit through all these "old" pieces...but I don't need to read about them too. Let's just get onto the singalong already!
Other than the “Hallelujah,” about 100 musicians performed at any given time, a chamber-sized ensemble entirely appropriate for the Baroque piece and the size of the church sanctuary.
100 = chamber sized? But...
"Hallelujah"?! That's that one about Jebus, right? I think know the words to that one...
HAL - LE - LU - JAH!
Richardson framed the symphony as Mozart’s look...
HAL - LE - LU - JAH!
...ahead to what the future of classical music could be, and the orchestra...
...brought that vision to life...
HAL LE eh eh LU JAH!
...brought that vision to life by milking every nuance of the piece in its performance.
Whoa, I wasn't paying attention. Richardson did what now? Milked the symphony?
Understanding what they were singing about was simple. All you had to do was read the English translation of the German text...
Can you dumb it down a shade?
Next came the jazzy “Hot Chocolate” from the movie “The Polar Express.” On film and in person, it’s one of those holiday songs that uses schmaltz in a way that could be considered cheesy if it wasn’t so fun and endearing.
"Hot Chocolate"? Wasn't that the sex mini-game in Grand Theft Auto? That's not cheesy, that's just awesome.
Maybe this concert is going to feature something even better than the singalong.
Musicians and singers changed musical genres at the drop of a hat.
After that, the lights came up, the Yampa Valley Singers came on stage, more youth musicians set up their stands and the audience joined for a Christmas singalong.
Yeah! Finally, the singalong!
While I did pay my compliments as an appreciative stranger, it seemed inappropriate to ask the name of the woman sitting in the pew behind me at Saturday's annual Holiday Pops concert by the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra....
Another gentleman in attendance at the church was right on the money, though, when he told her that, in this case, she should be singing with the choir, not with the audience.
Handel would have been proud of the community feel of the performance.
That was so much fun. Yeah!
HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH!
Red -- from the Midland Daily News
Gray -- Great Falls Tribune
Green -- from the San Diego News Network:
Purplely-pink like color -- Steamboat Today
Blue -- San Antonio Express News
Brown -- Lubbock Online