The Whitehouse Wind Symphony, a community band under the direction of Branchburg resident James P. Sheeley, Jr., will present four separate holiday concerts this December at various locations throughout central New Jersey. This annual concert series is one of the band’s most highly anticipated annual events. This year’s program is entitled “A Holiday Celebration!”
Concertgoers will enjoy the band’s arrangements of classic Christmas carols such as “Good King Wenceslas,” “Il est Ne, le Divin Enfant,” “Hark The Herald Angels Sing,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “Good Christian Men, Rejoice,” “Oh Come, All Ye Faithful,” and “Here We Come A’Caroling.” The band will also play some favorite holiday songs like “Over the River and Through the Woods,” “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” and “Frosty the Snowman.”
Also planned is a medley from the animated TV special “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Audience members will be invited to sing along for “A Christmas Festival,” and as is tradition with the band, children will be invited to ring sleigh bells as the band plays “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson.
The first concert of the series will take place on Friday, December 7th at 7:30pm at Whitehouse United Methodist Church (the band’s namesake venue), located 73 Old Highway 28 in Whitehouse Station. Parking is located behind the church and on the street, with a handicapped-accessible entrance with elevator at the side the church.
The second concert of the series will take place on Sunday, December 9th at 3:00pm at the historic courthouse at 75 Main Street in Flemington. The band first gave a holiday performance at the historic courthouse in 2011, and remains the first and only ensemble to do so in the courthouse’s 190 year history. This particular concert is made possible through the support of the Flemington Community Partnership and Mediatech Foundation. The concert is intentionally scheduled so that audience members can exit the courthouse after the concert and immediately enjoy the annual holiday parade in Flemington presented by the Hunterdon Chamber of Commerce. Parking is located behind the courthouse and in several other nearby lots. The courthouse is fully accessible from the rear entrance.
The third concert of the series will take place on Saturday, December 15th at 3:00pm at St. John’s Episcopal Church (the band’s rehearsal venue), located at 158 West High Street in Somerville. This church is handicapped-accessible from the rear parking lot.
The fourth and final concert of the series will take place on Thursday, December 20th at 7:30pm at Flemington United Methodist Church, located at 116 Main Street in Flemington. This concert coincides with the Thursday Night Holiday Lights event being present by the Flemington Community Partnership. Parking is available in several nearby lots. While steps are being taken to ensure accessibility, patrons requiring accommodations to access this particular venue are encouraged to reach out to the band via email.
All of these concerts are free and open to the general public, although donations will be accepted to benefit the band, a non-profit group comprised entirely of volunteer musicians, as well as the presenting churches and foundations. In the event of inclement weather, the announcement to cancel any of these concert will be made on the band’s website (whitehousewindsymphony.org) and Facebook page (facebook.com/whitehousewind). Large print programs are available upon request.
The Whitehouse Wind Symphony was founded by conductor emeritus Casey Bork on April 15, 1996. It is dedicated to presenting the best in all varieties of wind band literature. Since its founding, the band has grown rapidly, attracting experienced musicians as regular members from all over New Jersey, as well as New York City and eastern Pennsylvania. It is now comprised of approximately 50 amateur and professional musicians who perform together regularly to enthusiastic audiences throughout central and northern New Jersey. It was recently voted a finalist of the “Hunterdon Happening” list in the category of favorite musician/band. For more information, including information about future performances, please send an email to [email protected].
Funding has been made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, through funds administered by the Hunterdon County Cultural & Heritage Commission.