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The Madison Record

Madison Community Band has three Christmas concerts

MADISON – Madison Community Band will ring out its 25th concert season with the joyous sounds of Christmas music at three venues in November and December.

The band will present seasonal songs, beloved carols and Christmas singalongs. Other offerings will include American Christmas classics, Yuletide music from centuries past and symphonic sojourns to Bethlehem, Victorian England and the Old West.

For children of all ages, music from the 1966 TV special “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and a musical rendition of the classic poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” will be performed.

“To quote a famous editorial, ‘Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.’ He’s been around a lot longer than people may realize, in one form or another. We know where he is and we want folks to come find him with us,'” MCB Announcer Bryan Cobb said.

MCB’s first seasonal concert will be on Nov. 11 at 2 p.m. at Fayetteville, Tenn.’s “Host of Christmas Past.” The conclusion of the band’s 25th season coincides with the festival’s 25th anniversary. MCB first performed there in 1997, and this year marks the band’s 21st Christmas appearance on the courthouse square, Cobb said.

“We love playing for the Host of Christmas Past. The audience is always enthusiastic, even when the weather doesn’t cooperate,” Cobb said “Our brass and wind ensembles also play on the evening of Nov. 11 to serenade the Candlelight Walking Tour on Mulberry Street and Washington Street, which starts around 5 p.m. It’s a treat to take in the beautifully decorated old homes and hear live Christmas music in the air.”

The band’s twelfth annual Community Christmas Concert will be on Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. at Grace United Methodist Church, 2113 Old Monrovia Road. Grace UMC also provides rehearsal space for the band. Dr. David McCullough, Music Department Chair at the University of North Alabama, will be guest conductor for a portion of the program.

“Grace UMC has been our home for rehearsals since 2009, as well as the venue for our Community Christmas Concerts and, more recently, our Spring Concerts,” Cobb said. “We like to think this concert, while open to everyone in the surrounding communities, is also a musical Christmas gift to the church.”

MCB’s last concert of 2017 will be on Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. at Bridge Street Town Centre. The band has performed numerous summer concerts at Bridge Street starting in 2011 and added Christmas concert performances in 2014.

“It’s fun to watch the people who are out shopping stop for a while and catch a bit of the Christmas spirit while we perform,” Cobb said. “Santa Claus usually shows up to take the baton from our director, Dave Ryan, who is more than happy to let Kris Kringle conduct the band.”

“MCB has come a long way since 1993, when 15 musicians formed the band after playing together for Asbury Dinner Theatre. Twenty-five seasons and more than 500 members later, the band plays on at parks, malls, patriotic events and festivals throughout the Tennessee Valley,” Cobb said.

The 70-plus active members of the 2017 band comprise middle- and high-school students, retirees and people from all walks of life. “They all unite around the love of playing and the desire to share their music with friends, neighbors and the community,” he said.

For more information, visit m-c-b.org or Facebook/Madison Community Band.

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