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Year-End Thoughts from Columbia BandsDear friends of Columbia Bands,
With 2011 coming to a close, the musicians and the Board of Directors of Columbia Bands would like to thank you for your continued support. As the calendar flips over to 2012, we reflect on one of our most successful years bringing music to people of all ages in our community. These successes include:
* The Columbia Concert Band (CCB) performed the annual "Concert for Young People" in September. Local Music & Arts Centers provided instruments for our younger audience members to try out, and the kids were then treated to a concert called "Caught Between Some Rock and a Hard Piece" that was made especially for them.
* The CCB hosted Maryland Community Band Day in May, which brought seven other community bands to the area to perform nearly eight hours of music for our audiences on a gorgeous summer day.
* The Columbia Jazz Band (CJB) took part in the 2nd Annual Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival in February in Rockville, MD. The theme for the festival was "Standing Up for Real Jazz" and featured many professional groups.
* The CJB performed a joint concert in February with the Wilde Lake High School Jazz Band, including all 40 musicians on stage to perform Herbie Hancock's "Watermelon Man." The CJB also performed a similar concert with Montgomery Blair High School music students in December of 2010.
As you know, most of our performances are free. While we have received steady support from local and state governments and organizations, the economic challenges that we all live with have hit the performing arts harder than most non-profit organizations. As you reflect on the past year, we hope you will contemplate the role that Columbia Bands plays in the community and consider making a donation as part of your year-end giving. Gifts that are made securely through our website or postmarked by December 31st are tax-deductible in 2011. Donations to Columbia Bands may also be eligible for matching gifts from your employer.
We are grateful for all you do to ensure our success and wish you and your families a happy holiday season!
President, Columbia Bands Board of Directors
Winter News & Calendar
Winter News & Calendar
Still need a gift for the music lovers in your life? Get the Jazz Band's 2010 European Tour CD! Please contact Maurice Feldman for more information.
|by Len Morse (Percussion)||
CD Review: Christmas Cheers, by Straight No Chaser
Music can be found just about everywhere, and it is often created by musicians with high-quality instruments, but sometimes voices alone can provide plenty of joyful noise. Therefore, a CD from Straight No Chaser, the ten-man contemporary a capella sensation, should be at the top of your Christmas gift list this year. Their second album, Christmas Cheers, was released in 2009 and provides the catchy rhythms, smooth harmonies, memorable lyrics, and good-natured humor for which SNC is known.
Almost everyone can relate to the CD's first tune, The Christmas Can-Can, which pokes fun at the annual Christmas marketing season that seems to get longer each year. This piece contains interpolations of Offenbach's opera Orpheus in the Underworld (a.k.a. The Can-Can) and many recognizable holiday tunes, but boasts completely original lyrics, thanks to group member and arranger Walt.
Just when you think you've heard it all, take a listen to the guys' excellent rendition of We Three Kings in 5/4 meter (think Mission Impossible). It's a new twist on an old classic.
SNC and arranger Deke Sharon (not a group member) infuse soul into a pop arrangement of wintertime standard Let it Snow, featuring both of SNC's main lead singers, Jerome and Mike. You may just find yourself actually wishing for the white stuff to fall from the sky.
The group also covers Hey Santa!, a high-energy original from Rock-a-Billy bandleader and guitarist Brian Setzer. Featuring a fast "Doo-wop" style, this tune may have you wondering what Kris Kringle encounters when he visits America's Deep South. SNC's Ryan keeps it fun and does the tune justice singing the solo lead.
If you're the kind who listens to lyrics carefully, then SNC's rendition of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is for you. The first iteration of the tune is relatively traditional, but then they repeat it with lots of jazzy syncopation and lyrics that might have come from a thesaurus. The introduction and closing are clever as well.
Not to be left out, the group's two solid bass singers, Charlie and Randy, both step up to the plate and knock You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch out of the park, along with Jerome. Close harmonies and a contemporary rock feel make this tune charming, even though the subject is-a bad banana.
Santa Claus is Back in Town (not to be confused with Santa Claus is Coming to Town) is a fluffy bit of silliness. Ever wonder what would happen if Elvis Presley took over for Santa Claus? Wonder no more.
A favorite of many SNC fans, Who Spiked the Eggnog? is the group's only original piece on this CD. Listen as Ryan tries to solve the mystery in this fast-paced, Christmas party whodunit.
The Twelve Days of Christmas may be the last track on the CD, but it started new careers: Atlantic Records Chairman/CEO Craig Kallman noticed the guys after watching their original performance of this tune on YouTube, sung during a live concert in 1998. It was posted as a bit of nostalgia for the original members, but someone with power did see them, and, well, sometimes miracles do happen.
Along with the tunes mentioned above, Straight No Chaser lends their special musical blend to Christmastime is Here, Donde Esta Santa Claus, I'll be Home for Christmas, O Holy Night, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, and Jingle Bells, giving listeners 15 tracks of hip music and great humor. They are pure voices with no "pitch correction" or other electronic assistance, except microphones.
Straight No Chaser was formed in the fall of 1996 by students at Indiana University. As their web site's biography states, they were "10 guys who happened to be good friends who also liked to sing." Other albums include Holiday Spirits (2008), Six Pack (EP) (2009), With A Twist (2010), and Six Pack Vol. 2 (EP).
After the YouTube video and signing a contract with Atlantic (about ten years after the group's origination), they continue the magic that includes different styles of music from various eras. Their modern arrangements and sincere enjoyment of performance has garnered millions of loyal fans all over the world.
|by Mike Blackman (Concert Band Director)||
One of my favorite things about being around musicians is that they love to laugh; and sometimes that means laughing at ourselves. So, for the uninitiated, here is a list of classic band musician jokes. Obviously I mean no offense to anyone in sharing these, and I have been very careful to include every instrument so that nobody feels left out.
Q: How do you get two piccolo players to play in tune?
Q: What's the definition of "perfect pitch"?
Q: What's the difference between an oboe and an onion?
Q: Why is a bassoon better than an oboe?
Q: How many clarinetists does it take to change a light bulb?
Q: What's the difference between a saxophone and a lawnmower?
Q: How many trumpet players does it take to change a light bulb?
Q: How do you make a trombone sound like a French horn?
Q: What do you call a trombonist with a beeper?
Q: What does a euphonium player say when he gets to his gig?
Q: What's the range of a tuba?
Q: How do you know there's a drummer at your door?
Don't understand some of the humor? No problem! Come on out to our concert on December 18th and talk with some Columbia Concert Band or Columbia Jazz Band members - I'm sure they will be happy to explain!
Quarterly Word: "Leicht" (pronounced "laɪ̯Át")- German for "light" or "easy."
Quarterly Quote: "Life can't be all bad when for ten dollars you can buy all the Beethoven sonatas and listen to them for ten years." ~ William F. Buckley, Jr.
President - Woody Wingfield
Vice President - Tanya Hoegh-Allan
Secretary - Michael Pack
Treasurer - Jim Wesloh
Appointees and VolunteersHistorian - Melinda Frisch
Publicity Chair - Nancy Efron
Fundraising Chair - Woody Wingfield
Equipment Manager - Len Morse
Grant Writer, CCB Program Editor - Jeanette Donald
Facebook Fan Page Moderator - Katy Clemens
Accountant - David Weisenfreund, CPA
Librarian - Marilyn Kelsey
Curator - Jeanette Donald (Acting)
Uniform Manager - Bill DeVuono
HCAC Liason - Tanya Hoegh-Allan
Insurance Liason - Jenn Ambrosiano
CCB-CJB Liason - Maurice Feldman
CJB Tour Manager - Randy Malm
CB/CCB Webmaster - Len Morse
CJB Webmaster - Matt Williams
Graphic Artist - Corey Holland