Greater Des Moines Community Band plays holiday favorites

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The Greater Des Moines Community Band brought holiday happiness to about 75 local lovers of fine arts Sunday afternoon in an hour-long performance at the Perry Performing Arts Center.

The band swung through a dozen numbers, including “Feliz Navidad,” “Do You Hear What I Hear?” and a snappy rendition of “Sleigh Ride.” A Frank Sinatra-style medley changed the pace, and a special request was performed of “Jingle Bells/National Anthem” by the Low Brass Ensemble.

A high note came in the very fine performance of a less familiar work, “On a Catalonian Carol,” arranged by Randall D. Standridge.

Among the more than 60 players in the Greater Des Moines Community Band were two players from Perry, tubist Kari Allen of Perry, who has been with the band about three years, and bassoonist Dawn Parker, a longtime regular in the Perry Community Band and a one-year member of the Des Moines group.

Before directing the audience-sing-a-long songs that closed the show — “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” “Silver Bells,” “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “White Christmas” — the Greater Des Moines Community Band Director Christa Miller thanked the audience and Perry Fine Arts for hosting the show.

Miller gave special thanks to Perry Fine Arts President Cathy Clark for promoting the shows in advance.

“We don’t even get this kind of publicity in Des Moines,” Miller said, “so thank you, Cathy, for making us feel so welcome in Perry.”

Clark also thanked the audience for its attendance and wished them all a very merry Christmas.

The next concert in the Perry Fine Arts series is Sunday, Jan. 20 at 2 p.m., when Quarter 515 Violins will perform classical string quartets at the Perry Performing Arts Center.

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