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.
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.”
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.