Community comes together to
celebrate Christmas through music
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 3:09 AM
On the first day of December, my true love gave to me: one choir performing, two flautists fluting, three ladies shopping, four men jazzily jingle-belling, five band members sleighing...and 20 festive carols to get them in the season's spirits.
Audience members of the upcoming Community Christmas Concert in Chatfield can expect that and more, said Carmen Narveson, Chatfield Brass Band (CBB) conductor and Chatfield Community Choir participant.
"I'm guessing that the audience will hear over 20 familiar Christmas carols and songs at this concert," she added. "That should get everyone in the mood for the Christmas season."
The concert will begin at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 1, at Potter Auditorium in the Chatfield Center for the Arts (CCA).
The concert will open with the CBB performing selections such as Leroy Anderson's "Sleigh Ride," Mel Torme's "Christmas Song" and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."
The brass band will be followed by the Chatfield Lutheran Bell Choir bringing the "Carol of the Bells" and another selection.
The Chatfield High School Men's Ensemble will be singing "Jingle Bells" and the Chatfield High School Women's Ensemble will be sharing their "Christmas Shopping Blues."
Chatfield Brass Band Jazz Combo will bring some swing to the holiday, The Festive Flautists will channel some Peter Tchaikovsky and the Chatfield Community Choir will be coming "Home for the Holidays" "In the Bleak Midwinter" to celebrate all that's merry and bright about Christmas.
Narveson also pointed out the concert is a collaborative effort of the people of Chatfield and beyond, including Chatfield High School choir director Barb Ahl, who directs the Christmas choir.
"This community concert involves at least 90 musicians from ages 15 to 90. It brings together a variety of musical groups from the community and gives the audience an opportunity to hear them all in one evening," Narveson said. "There is so much musical talent in our Chatfield community!"
She continued and explained that people join the choir and band because they love to sing or play their instrument. Once they join, they find they meet new people and experience the joy of making music together.
Narveson explained that her band started fall rehearsals in September and rehearse every week on Thursday evenings. There are around 40 members from all over southeastern Minnesota. The band members have been rehearsing not only for the Christmas concert, but also for the summer concert series.
The choir started rehearsals at the end of October, and rehearses for one hour every Sunday night. It's a group of 32 singers ranging in age from 16 to 70-plus.
"They love to sing parts and enjoy singing in a large group," Narveson added. "There are not a lot of opportunities to be a part of an amateur choir, so it's an enjoyable experience for all of us. They are a talented group of singers, and we love directing them!"
Narveson listed the challenges of organizing a concert such as this.
"I think our highest priority is to use rehearsal time efficiently. We try hard to be respectful and appreciative of the time that our members give to our groups," she said. "It's important to be organized and dedicate most of our rehearsals to making music."
Narveson added that she enjoys seeing how much everyone enjoys getting together and making music. "It's rewarding and good for the spirit," she said. "I like the variety that this concert brings to the audience. It is a showcase of musical ensembles in our community. The concert is a great way to get in the spirit of the Christmas season."
The concert is free and includes something for all ages to enjoy.
"We love performing in Potter Auditorium - it's a great venue for this type of concert," she continued. "The performing groups always look forward to performing for this appreciative audience."
Following the concert, the Chatfield Commercial Club will serve a soup and sandwich supper and Commercial Club member Gail Nixa invited concert-goers to join them for the dinner.
"We're having shredded pork sandwiches and chips, pickles, desserts and beverages, and this year, we're adding a bake sale so that people can grab something to take with them as they go out the door," she added. "It's $6 per person and the funds go to benefit the club's scholarships - every year, we give a $500 scholarship to one senior from Chatfield High School."
For more information on the concert, one may log onto the Chatfield city website at www.ci.chatfield.mn.us and scroll down to the concert's notice.