WSO Billtown Brass Holiday Concert
November 18 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm$5 - $10
The Williamsport Symphony Orchestra’s Billtown Brass Band will be presenting its 12th annual “Kick Off the Holiday!” concert 4:00 PM, Saturday, November 18 in the Michael Ross Event Center, on the third floor of the Trade and Transit II building in downtown Williamsport, with free parking across the street at the Third Street Garage. The concert is presented as a feature of the 2017 Victorian Christmas in Williamsport.
“Kick Off the Holiday!” features seasonal and popular fare highlighting the power, beauty and musical majesty that British style brass bands are know for throughout the world. The 28 member Billtown Brass includes the best brass and percussionists in the region. The concert’s special guest artists will be Spencer and the T-Bones with vocalist Stacia Abernatha.
The concert opens with A Glenn Miller Christmas; Big band sound at its best covering five of the season’s favorite carols. Shalom! features Hanerot Halalu and Ba’olam Haba, traditional Hebrew songs of Hannukah. Next, in a selection that will be a favorite of those young at heart, Santa Claus-Trophobia includes a number of popular songs with ‘Santa’ in the title, including When Santa Got Stuck Up the Chimney and A Rootin’ Tootin’ Santa Claus. The Brass’s version of Carol of the Bells has an off-balance feel as the band swings in five-four time. Identified as the most-performed holiday favorite, with “Jack Frost nipping at your nose”, The Christmas Song captures the essence of the season (even though it was written by the pool in the heat of summer). The first half of the program ends with Christmas Bolero, a clever combination of The Little Drummer Boy and Ravel’s classic Bolero.
Next up, Spencer and the T-Bones. The band is what you get when you mix a soulful singer with a rock’n rhythm section and funky horn line. The band is comprised of Stacia Abernatha on vocals; Kevin Henry, Marc Williams and Bob LaBarca on trombones; Larry Fisher on bari sax; Walt Straiton on keyboard; Dick Adams on guitar; Tim Breon on bass; and Bobby Leidhecker on drums. Spencer and the T-Bones started in 2011 with their namesake, Spencer Sweeting, as the lead singer. Spencer moved on due to family, church and community commitments this past year. Stacia Abernatha, a leading force in the Williamsport music scene, joined the band this summer. Spencer and the T-Bones continues to entertain and amaze audiences with their made-to-order arrangements of funk, soul, rock, gospel, jazz and blues grooves that are blended together with the unique sound of this horn band. Selections will come from their extensive repertoire.
The program will conclude with both bands joining resources performing arrangements by Kevin Henry. God Bless the Child was written by Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog, Jr. in 1939. While there have been many recordings of his classic tune, the combined bands will be performing a cover made famous in 1968 by Blood Sweat and Tears. The energetic spiritual Go Tell It on the Mountain will conclude the concert.
Tickets are Adults $10, Students$5 and available at the Willimasport Symphony office 570-32-0227, Robert M. Sides Family Music Center and at the door, OR online through the “Get Tickets” tab.