The Whitehouse Wind Symphony, a community band under the direction of Branchburg resident James P. Sheeley, Jr., will present three separate holiday concerts this December at various locations throughout central New Jersey.
This annual concert series is one of the band’s most highly anticipated annual events. This year’s family-friendly program is entitled “The Gift of Music.”
Concertgoers will enjoy the band’s arrangements of classic Christmas carols such as “Good King Wenceslas,” “Il est Ne, le Divin Enfant,” “Pat-a-Pan,” “Fum, Fum, Fum,” “Hark The Herald Angels Sing,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “Good Christian Men, Rejoice,” “Oh Come, All Ye Faithful,” and “Here We Come A’Caroling.” The band will also play some favorite holiday songs like “Over the River and Through the Woods,” “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” and “Feliz Navidad.”
Also planned is a medley from the animated TV special “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” In a special piece entitled “For Unto You is Born This Day!,” Gary A. Myer of Bridgewater, NJ will narrate the story of the first Christmas as the band accompanies him. Audience members will be invited to sing along for “A Christmas Festival,” and as is tradition with the band, children will be invited to ring sleigh bells as the band plays “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson.
The first concert of the series will take place on Friday, Dec.1st at 7:30 p.m. at Whitehouse United Methodist Church, located 73 Old Highway 28 in Whitehouse Station. This will mark the 22nd time that the band has performed a holiday concert at its namesake venue.
The second concert of the series will take place on Sunday, Dec.3rd at 3 p.m. at the historic courthouse at 75 Main St. in Flemington. The band first gave a holiday performance at the historic courthouse in 2011, and remains the first and only ensemble to do so in the courthouse’s 189 year history. This particular concert is made possible through the support of the Flemington Community Partnership and Mediatech Foundation. The concert is intentionally scheduled so that audience members can exit the courthouse after the concert and immediately enjoy the annual holiday parade in Flemington presented by the Hunterdon Chamber of Commerce.
The third and final concert of the series will take place on Saturday, Dec. 9th at 3 p.m. at Liberty Church, located at 953 West Chestnut St. in Union. This will be the fifth time that the band has performed a holiday program at Liberty Church.
All of these concerts are free and open to the general public, although donations will be accepted to benefit the band, a non-profit group comprised entirely of volunteer musicians, as well as the presenting churches and foundations. In the event of inclement weather, the announcement to cancel any of these concert will be made on the band’s website, whitehousewindsymphony.org and Facebook page facebook.com/whitehousewind. Large print programs are available upon request, and all venues are handicapped accessible.
The Whitehouse Wind Symphony was founded by conductor emeritus Casey Bork on April 15, 1996. It is dedicated to presenting the best in all varieties of wind band literature. Since its founding, the band has grown rapidly, attracting experienced musicians as regular members from all over New Jersey, as well as New York City and eastern Pennsylvania. It is now comprised of approximately 50 amateur and professional musicians who perform together regularly to enthusiastic audiences throughout central and northern New Jersey. It was recently voted the winner of the "Hunterdon Happening" list in the category of favorite musician/band for the third consecutive year. For more information, including information about future performances, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Funding has been made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, through funds administered by the Hunterdon County Cultural & Heritage Commission.