|November 27, 2012 -
You can get into the holiday spirit at a free concert by the Knoxville Community Band at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, at the Bijou Theatre. Music will range from traditional carols to selections with a distinct jazz beat.
The program includes medleys such as "Sleigh Ride" and "A Christmas Festival" by Leroy Anderson. "A Jazzy Christmas," arranged by Johnnie Vinson, gives "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," "The Holly and the Ivy" and "Good King Wenceslas" an unusual - and particularly American - sound.
"An American Christmas," arranged by Robert W. Smith, brings an unexpected sound, too, as well as some surprising titles to familiar carols, including "Rock Ye Merry Gentlemen" and "Jingle Bells Forever." The concert also will include a selection of traditional favorites, including "Silver Bells," "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" and "I'll be Home for Christmas."
The band is directed by Larry Hicks, retired band director of Heritage High School in Maryville. Mark Boring, also retired from the Blount County school system, is the assistant band director.
The Knoxville Community Band is made up of instrumentalists in the community who like to play, and most have been playing since grammar school. Some players are band directors who take time out from their own bands to keep in practice on their major instruments, and others are professionals in the community who learned to play in school and don't want to lose their expertise. All are volunteers, and all play because they love music.
The band is sponsored by the Knoxville Parks and Recreation Department. The group plays year round at festivals and other special events and performs a series of outdoor concerts during the summer. New members with expertise on any band instruments are welcome. Practices are from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays at Northwest Middle School on Pleasant Ridge Road.