Dec 06 2008

Christmas Concert

We just got back from the “Christmas Memories” concert put on by the Quincy Symphony Orchestra. I’d recommend it, but it looks like it’s a one-time show; so if you weren’t there, you’re out of luck. At $15, the tickets might seem a bit pricey, but it’s nice to know that you’re supporting a Quincy institution and most of your money isn’t going off to Hollywood or China or someplace.

I’m resistant to the way people keep celebrating Christmas earlier and earlier, and then dropping it by about 3pm on Dec. 25th. (Salvation Army bell-ringers who were out by mid-November, I’m loooking at you.) I try to pace myself so I still have some Christmas spirit for the real Christmas season: the twelve days after Christmas. I guess you have to make an exception for Christmas concerts, though. Who’s performing one on Dec. 26th? I don’t listen to Christmas music on the radio or see seasonal commercials on TV, so I’m not in much danger of overload.

Anyway, I thought it was great. I learned that I need to sit closer to the music next time, though. Lots of people behind us had ants in their pants or something and couldn’t sit still, so the constant rustling and my poor hearing made it hard to hear some of the quieter pieces. They did the Mannheim Steamroller version of Silent Night, which has long been a favorite of mine, and I just couldn’t hear it very well. Next time: up close.

They had a harp ensemble that was pretty cool, although I definitely don’t know anything about harp music. I think there were eight harps (and harpists), which is about eight times as many as I would have guessed existed in Quincy. Apparently, thanks to a lady who has been teaching the harp in Quincy for 62 years, Quincy has more harpists per capita than any other town or city in the United States. This town sure excels at some unusual things.

There were two choirs, one adult and one youth, and they both sounded good. I could have done without the karaoke portion of the program, personally—I’d rather listen to people who have practiced the songs together for weeks than the random crowd around me—but it seemed like people who can sing enjoyed singing along. I especially liked the choirs singing Christmastime is Here from the Charlie Brown Christmas show, and the song the Whos in Whoville sing together in the Grinch show (the cartoon, not the Jim Carrey abomination).

All in all, it was a nice time with a lot of good music, and I hope to attend some of their future performances. When people complain that Quincy doesn’t have enough big-city entertainment options, they should know we do have a pretty darn good symphony you don’t have to drive to St. Louis to see.

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