The holidays kicked off in musical fashion when The Orchestra at Maryville College and The Maryville College Community Chorus offered a stellar performance at First Baptist Church of Maryville.
Billed as “The Holiday Festival,” orchestra conductor Bill Robinson said the first half of the Dec. 7 event showcased the orchestra as they played traditional arrangements of Christmas carols. The second half of the show featured a different take on carols.
“I liked a lot of the arrangements. There were new arrangements for a lot of carols. In the second half, the choir, under the direction of Alan Eleazar, joined the orchestra. They did ‘Missa Festiva,’ by John Leavitt, a beautiful choral piece,” Robinson said. “We concluded the whole night with the audience joining in a carol singing ‘Christmas Festival,’ by Leroy Anderson. It lasted 9 minutes and involved everybody - the whole audience singing traditional carols.”
Robinson said the audience seemed to enjoy the performances. “We had not done that in several years,” he said. “We finished off the evening in a good way.”
The conductor said the orchestra has about 70 members while the choir boasts between 40 to 50. “That was roughly 110 volunteers taking part in those two music organizations. There were a lot of community people involved with those two groups,” he said.
The event was also significant in that it was the last time the Orchestra at Maryville College will be performing at the church.
“We will next be performing at the Clayton Center for the Arts,” said Robinson. “We thank First Baptist Church for hosting these groups the past several years while this building was being built. We really appreciate them.”