There are only 15 rehearsals left before the Christmas concert, Brookfield High School band director Elza Wright told his students on Nov. 14, trying to get them to focus on the music they have before them, some of which they had just received that day.
“It’s kind of hard to get them to develop a sense of urgency,” Wright had said earlier. “As it gets closer, they get more focused.”
Senior Janae Pugh is already pretty focused. As Wright handed her the new music, she got out a pencil and started making notes, her saxophone across her knee. Having just completed the football season and her duties in the marching band, Janae said she believes people pay closer attention to what she is playing at a concert than they do when she’s marching on a football field.
“I’m excited,” she said of the Dec. 8 Christmas concert. “This is gonna be fun.”
Brookfield’s high school and middle school musicians will present the concert at 6 p.m. in the school auditorium. The show is free and open to the public.
“Usually, fairly well-attended,” Wright said. “If you come at the last minute, there’s a lot of people standing up in the back of the auditorium.”
Noting that there are no COVID-19-related social distancing restrictions, “I expect a pretty good crowd this year,” Wright said.
The program will include “Christmas Fantasia” and “A Classical Christmas,” both medleys of Christmas carols; a piece called “Faeries,” a Mannheim Steamroller arrangement of part of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker”; and “Fantasy on Deck the Hall,” which Wright said is “probably our hardest piece.”
“Of course, every year we do ‘Sleigh Ride,’” Wright said. “You have to do that one.”
“Sleigh Ride” is a biggie for the percussion section, and typifies what makes the Christmas concert different from the spring show.
“It seems like the music is a lot more lively and entertaining,” said percussionist Bill McAnany, also a senior.
The show will be “slightly nerve wracking” because he will play timpani in concert for the first time, Billy said. He also will play drum kit, bass drum and whip crack.
“I just enjoy it overall,” he said of playing.
Brookfield Elementary School will hold these choir concerts: first grade, 1o a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Dec. 6; second grade, 11 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Dec. 6; third grade, 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Dec. 9; and fourth grade, 11 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Dec. 9.