Neal McLeod plays solo trombone in “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” / W.C. Mann
CULLMAN – The 50-plus member Cullman Community Band delighted the crowd at the Cullman Civic Center on Sunday with its annual Christmas concert. Director/Conductor Garry Taylor led the band through a holiday set that included “Candlelight Carol,” “Away in a Manger,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” featuring solo trombonist Neal McLeod, “Silent Night,” and “Sleigh Ride.”
The concert also featured member Ken Simpson conducting his own arrangement of holiday favorites reimagined as marches. The band threw in a few non-seasonal pieces, including the national anthem, “Beguine for Flutes,” “Ode for Trumpet” featuring solo trumpeter Jim Parker and a sci-fi suite featuring music from the current “Star Trek” movies and original television series.
The entertainment concluded with an audience participation sing-along of “Deck the Halls,” “Jingle Bells,” “O Christmas Tree” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”
Taylor told The Tribune, “I think the band just keeps getting better and better, and it’s because we’ve got some outstanding musicians in the group, and some loyal musicians that are here, not just every year, but every rehearsal. They keep coming back, so we must be doing something right.
“We’ve got a lot of band directors, people that majored in music in college or played in college bands, so there’s some real talent in the group. There’s some real talent in this area, the Cullman community, and I’m proud that a lot of them are in this band.”
The community band is open to new members, and is actively seeking percussionists. Its practice and performing season follows the school year, with concerts at Oktoberfest and Christmas, and up to three performances in the spring. Rehearsals are held on Monday evenings from 6:30-8 in the Cullman Middle School band room. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/CullmanCommunityBand, call Taylor at 256-636-2754 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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