Lively Hazelwood band concert rings in the Holiday Season

See what you missed, if you didn’t attend the Portland Metro Concert Band Holiday show …

The Portland Metro Concert Band Holiday Concert is underway, at the Horner Auditorium in the Hazelwood neighborhood.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

The parking lot was filled to overflowing the afternoon of December 10 outside the David Douglas High School (DDHS) Horner Performing Arts Center as patrons filed in for the 3:00 p.m. downbeat of the Portland Metro Concert Band Holiday Concert.

Instead of playing a “Winter Concert” in January, the Co-Directors Jay Burchak and Dr. Roger Nickerson Ph.D., and their players, decided to get outer East Portland folks into the Holiday spirit in December with a December concert of band music.

The show included familiar Holiday tunes (with a sing-along); modern music for the concert band; and, as always, marches.

Leading the band in “Beguine Again” is Co-Director Jay Burchak.

As is their custom, Co-Director Jay Burchak – he was the DDHS band director for 25 years – started off the program’s first half with “Thundercrest Concert March”, followed by “Bright Lights”.

The audience showed their appreciation for the Christmas Portrait medley of “It’s Beginning to Look Like Christmas”, “The Christmas Song”, and “We Need a Little Christmas” – as they also did for the percussion-driven “Syncopated Clock” composed by Leroy Anderson.

The trumpet section performs during the “Sound Off” March by John Philip Sousa.

Guests select a wide assortment of cookies and treats provided by the families of the band members.

Families of this all-volunteer organization always bring boxes of cookies and sweet treats to set out for intermission. While the guests appear to appreciate the great music played by the 45-piece band, they certainly also enjoy these baked goods and coffee.

“We’re still looking for band members,” Burchak said, as he headed to the stage to take his place in the trumpet section. “We’re looking specifically for percussion players,” Burchak confided to East Portland News

Leading the Portland Metro Concert Band during the stirring Christmas Memories medley is co-Director Dr. Roger Nickerson Ph.D.

Dr. Roger Nickerson Ph.D. took the podium and introduced the second half of the program.

“In a sense, this part of the program is like a ‘time machine’, in that we’ve listed the date the piece was composed, or enjoyed,” Nickerson told the audience.

The most recent musical selection on the program was the Loch Lomond medley, listed as composed in 2002, featuring “Loch Lomond” and “Danny Boy”. The earliest tune was “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”, which you may be surprised to learn was composed in 1534.

The Portland Metro Concert Band continues its Holiday Concert.

The program featured selections from the musical “Annie”, and then moved into the Holiday spirit with the Bruce Chase medley Christmas Memories, including “Frosty the Snowman”, “Santa Claus in Coming to Town”, “Here Comes Santa Claus”, “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”, and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”.

After two Sousa marches, the program concluded with an It’s Christmas medley and sing-along – using lyric sheets provided to the audience – which included the classic carols “Jingle Bells”, “Deck the Halls”, and “Silent Night”.

Your next opportunity to hear the Portland Metro Concert Band perform at this venue will be on Friday, May 27, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. It will again be in the Horner Performing Arts Center Theater at David Douglas High School, 1400 SE 130th Avenue.

For more information, see their website: CLICK HERE.

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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