Legion Band presents 22nd annual Holiday Concert

BRATTLEBORO — The 22nd annual American Legion Band Holiday Concert, co-directed by Bruce Corwin and Raymond Brown, will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 19, at 7:30 p.m., at the Legion Home at 32 Linden St.

Admission is free, though donations will be welcomed.

Here is what concertgoers can expect, both as an audience and as singers invited to lend their voices:

In the first half...

The concert opens with “Christmas Declaration” by Robert Smith, directed by Bruce Corwin, followed by “In the Bleak Midwinter” by Gustav Holst, featuring Dexter Churchill as the clarinet soloist.

Next up is “Feliz Navidad,” a popular carol with a Latin flair.

“The Christmas Song” (which some might know by its subtitle, “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”), features saxophone soloist Susan Corey.

That leads to Brenda Lee's “Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree” and “Fanfare and Procession on an Old English Carol,” based on “O Come All Ye Faithful.”

Then in the second half...

The second half of this year's concert, under the direction of Raymond Brown, starts with Leroy Anderson's classic arrangement, “A Christmas Festival,” which includes excerpts from nine beloved Christmas carols.

Next, the band performs a contemporary arrangement of the 17th-century English carol “I Saw Three Ships (Come Sailing In),” as arranged by Vince Gassi.

The ensemble then unwraps an original work by Alan Stein, “Snow Day Celebration.”

The next selection is a wonderful arrangement of John Rutter's choral composition, “Candlelight Carol,” which was written in 1984 and first recorded by Rutter's own group on ”Christmas Night,” their 1987 album.

The band then offers “The Toy Trumpet,” one of Raymond Scott's best known compositions and a piece well remembered from Al Hirt's 1955 rendition with Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops.

A James Swearingen original work, “A Christmas Auld Lang Syne,” is followed by a good old-fashioned Christmas sing-a-long for the evening's final piece, Leroy Anderson's “Sleigh Ride.”

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