Celebrate the holidays with Bay-Atlantic Symphony

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Photo Courtesy of Samuel Levy

By Brittany Kilpatrick

With the holidays approaching, one way to participate in the festivities is by checking out local attractions that are taking place. An event being held here at Cumberland County College is the Bay-Atlantic Symphony’s Holiday Concert. The concert is taking place on Saturday, December 8th at 8:00 p.m. at the Frank Guaracini, Jr. Fine and Performing Arts Center. Ticket prices range from $5 to $25 dollars. Classical holiday orchestrations will be performed.

According to Paul Herron, Executive Director of Bay-Atlantic Symphony, the concert will feature pieces by Johann Sebsastian Bach, which will include “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.” Another piece being played is Parchelbel’s “Canon.” The holiday concert will highlight all of the holidays that occur in December. The orchestra will be a “chamber orchestra” that will comprise of 25-27 pieces. The duration of the concert will be about an hour and forty-five minutes with a fifteen minute intermission.

When asked, “What do you think the audience will deem from this concert? What affects will it have on them?” Herron replied that he wants the audience to get a sense of “the special feeling of this time of year.” He feels that “one of the best ways to celebrate [the holidays] is through music.” He hopes the audience will get a “sense of majesty, sense of something bigger than we are.” As he expressed his feelings for the concert you could sense his love and enthusiasm for music. He described the pieces to be featuring “gorgeous string playing.” He would later add that he hopes the audience can sense how this time of year and festive music can demonstrate a “sense of this mystery of life, of majesty of mystery,” that “bonds people together.”

Herron feels that students would benefit from seeing the concert in numerous ways. “They will see professional musicians performing…they will better understand what it is to be a musician.” He also believes that during this stressful time of year students would benefit from seeing the performance because it would help “alleviate” stress. Students would also obtain “ a better understanding of the architecture of music.” This understanding would be important for students studying music.” He explained that when you listen to compositions by Bach “you can hear how he built [the music] block by block. You can hear the architecture of it, you can hear how it’s formed, how it comes together to form something magnificent.”

According to Greg Hambleton, director at the Frank Guaracini, Jr. Fine and Performing Arts Center, he feels that students would benefit from seeing the concert, “They [will] see first class musicianship…” He also talked highly of Jed Gaylin, the conductor of the Bay-Atlantic Symphony.

The Bay-Atlantic Symphony’s Holiday Concert is a way to celebrate this festive time of year. While watching this performance audience members will leave with their own impressions. Hopefully, many will leave the performance feeling a sense of festivity.

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