The Spirit of Christmas was alive and musical in downtown Cambridge, OH. The occasion was The Cambridge City Band 2010 Holiday Concert at the Scottish Rite Auditorium. This is an annual event in conjunction with the Christmas parade and the arrival of Santa Claus.
The band was in full force this Sunday afternoon dressed for the season. Santa hats were plentiful as well as elves, lighted costumes, shirts and ties, as well as a beautiful holiday gown. Band director, Dr Berk Jones, always enjoys the chance to wear a costume or festive hat to help brighten the performance.
The backdrop caused comments throughout the day and even later in the week. It was a beautiful scene of a Victorian style village covered in snow and made the perfect setting for the Christmas music that was performed by the band. The question was: Who did that backdrop? or Where did they get it?
This small town still has old fashioned values and makes a person feel good at this season of the year. The courthouse has a manger scene, which is easily accepted by all. No complaints! Well, last year some youngsters took Baby Jesus and moved his figure to a nearby place, but it was not done in a mean manner, and was recovered without damage.
Today’s concert was in memory of Melanie Jones Bolyard, longtime band member and music enthusiast in the community. She left this world during the late summer after a long illness, and a video tribute was shown on the walls of the theater at intermission. Many tears were shed as family and friends watched the touching life of Mellie relived before their eyes.
All the band concerts are opened with a prayer and followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Yes, ‘under God’ is still included in the pledge. During the day the audience also participated in singing some popular old Christmas songs and finished with singing old familiar Christmas carols, closing with “Silent Night”. The sing-a-long was led by Mellie’s Friends and Family. Makes a heart feel good to know that this small town has kept traditions alive with no negative community feedback.
During the second half of the show an appearance was made by Maynard, the Loveable Lush pushed in a wheelchair by Santa Claus. His bottle was quickly removed by the audio team as there is no drinking allowed in the theater! Santa had a present, which he wanted a band member to open. He called down one of the girls, who was dressed like an elf. She was a bit leery of opening the present and approached cautiously. These guys are always pulling jokes on each other. Well, this time it wasn’t a joke.
Maynard got down on one knee and with mike in hand, proposed to the young lady in the band. That is a proposal she will long remember and she proudly showed her new ring to fellow band members. She did have a difficult time playing her flute for the next song, as it truly did take her breath away.
The band played an outstanding selection of Christmas music with several specials. “Santa Claus Comes to Dixieland” added some special liveliness to the afternoon. There were special instrumental and vocal solos to give it lots of variety.
The show was excellent and closed with the traditional theme song of the band, “Thanks for the Memory”. The Cambridge City Band has provided musical entertainment to the area for 169 years. Cambridge should be proud of the fantastic musical ability that abounds in this area and gives so much enjoyment all year long.