Vance-Granville Community Band kicks off holiday season with free concert


musicscholars-christmasconcert.jpg:  From left, students in the VGCC Music Scholars program, Tiffany Barnes of Henderson, Charles Keith of Raleigh, Shontiara Williams of Oxford and Kaleb Williamson of Bullock, perform during the Vance-Granville Community Band Christmas concert. (VGCC photo)

musicscholars-christmasconcert.jpg: From left, students in the VGCC Music Scholars program, Tiffany Barnes of Henderson, Charles Keith of Raleigh, Shontiara Williams of Oxford and Kaleb Williamson of Bullock, perform during the Vance-Granville Community Band Christmas concert. (VGCC photo)

The Vance-Granville Community Band presented its eighth annual free Christmas concert on Dec. 3, in the Civic Center on the college’s Main Campus in Vance County. Entitled “Making Spirits Bright,” the program featured a variety of traditional holiday favorites.

Carl Cantaluppi of Butner, who has played clarinet in the band for many years, spoke on behalf of the ensemble and introduced most pieces. Among the selections were arrangements of the Mariah Carey hit, “All I Want for Christmas is You,” “A Holst Christmas,” “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “The Bells of Saint Mary,” and a Christmas sing-a-long arranged by Alexander “Bob” Salzmann of Boydton, Va., who plays euphonium in the band. For the band’s “’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” the narrator reading the classic poem was Claire Ramsey of Oxford, who plays French horn in the ensemble.

Claire Ramsey of Oxford (seated on stool at left) narrates during the Vance-Granville Community Band performance of “'Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Brian Miller of Louisburg conducts. (VGCC photo)

Claire Ramsey of Oxford (seated on stool at left) narrates during the Vance-Granville Community Band performance of “’Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Brian Miller of Louisburg conducts. (VGCC photo)

The concert also featured a performance by VGCC students in the Music Scholars program: Shontiara Williams of Oxford (on vocals and piano), Kaleb Williamson of Bullock (guitar), Tiffany Barnes of Henderson (vocals) and Charles Keith of Raleigh (bass and drums). The students performed “O Holy Night” and “Mary, Did You Know.”

An ensemble consisting of saxophonists Robert Bass of Henderson, Jeff Myers of Townsville and Tom Koinis of Oxford, plus bassoonist Tracie Winstead of Louisburg, calling themselves the “Old Vanguard Woodwind Quartet,” presented “Panis Angelicus” and “Jingle Bells.”

From left, Tom Koinis of Oxford, Jeff Myers of Townsville, Tracie Winstead of Louisburg and Robert Bass of Henderson play traditional Christmas carols as the “Old Vanguard Woodwind Quartet.” (VGCC photo)

From left, Tom Koinis of Oxford, Jeff Myers of Townsville, Tracie Winstead of Louisburg and Robert Bass of Henderson play traditional Christmas carols as the “Old Vanguard Woodwind Quartet.” (VGCC photo)

VGCC music instructor Ivory Brock serves as the band’s primary conductor. Associate conductor Brian Miller, who recently retired as the band director at Louisburg High School, also directed the band on some selections during the concert. When not conducting, Miller played trombone in the band.

The Vance-Granville Community Band is open to musicians of all ages from throughout the region. The band will begin rehearsals again in January.

For more information, contact Ivory Brock at brocki@vgcc.edu or (252) 738-3222, or Carl Cantaluppi at carl1954@hotmail.com or (919) 691-5455.