The holiday season is always a busy time of year. Not only are there dates for gatherings with friends and family to be juggled, but there are more musical perfomances than one could possibly attend. Every church is going to have their own program, as is every school performing ensemble. Tack onto that the various community ensembles, and what you have is a glut of holiday music offerings.
Let’s say someone wanted a show that featured orchestra, choral singing, and carol sing-alongs. One would have that opportunity three weeks in a row. Last night Furman hosted the Boston Pops directed by Furman alumni Keith Lockhardt (a classmate of mine) and the Furman Singers. Next weekend I’m involved in a performances in Hendersonville and the Peace Center with the Greenville Chorale and the Hendersonville Orchestra. The following weekend the Greenville Symphony has it concert with the Chicora Singers at the Peace Center.
The amazing thing is that all three of these concerts follow a similar format. There will be a mix of religious and secular music with sing-alongs. Santa hats and red bowties will be in abundance. I’m just wondering if there are enough concert patrons in the Greenville community to really make three concerts of this type worthwhile. Usually, the Chicora Singers join the Chorale for their concerts, and so we have the parents and family of those kids in the audience. For our concert with the Chorale this year, I suspect the audience will only be slightly larger than the number of performers involved, as spouses and families will be the primary people in attendance. Some of these will be there out of familial obligation, rather than truly wanting to sit through yet another repetition of this annual event.
If I sound a bit jaded perhaps I am. One expects traditions to be maintained, and there is comfort to be taken in the familiar format of something like a Service of Lessons and Carols. However, repetition can get really, really boring. Maybe this year’s the time to do something really off the wall, such as attending the Brian Setzer Orchestra performance this Tuesday at the Peace Center.