“Joy To The World” is the theme for the McAllen Symphonic Band concert at the McAllen Civic Center Dec. 7.
However, some might be disappointed because this annual concert seems likely to be a full house for people who got their tickets early.
The tickets cost $5 each and may be purchased at the McAllen Convention Center Box Office, at seven Wilder RV Parks from Harlingen to McAllen, and the McAllen and Weslaco Chambers of Commerce.
Director David Isadore returns for his third year with the McAllen Symphonic Band, featuring about 80 musicians. He is backed by Manuel Arambula, assistant director.
Isadore has been a band director for many years. He served as head band director and instrumental supervisor for the Weslaco Independent School District from 1984 to 2003. Currently he is on the adjunct faculty at the University of Texas-Brownsville, where he conducts the University Jazz Ensemble.
He earned his degrees in music from the Boston Conservatory of Music and the University of New Hampshire and directed music education for many years in Massachusetts.
He has appeared as a clarinet soloist with the Boston Pops Orchestra under the direction of Arthur Fiedler and has performed with Jerry Lewis, Marvin Hamlish, Don Rickles and Donna Summers, among many others. Presently, the director is principal oboist with the Valley Symphony Orchestra and the Harlingen Festival Orchestra and Chorale. He also is lead alto saxophone with the Dean Canty Orchestra and the Harbor Lights Orchestra in Brownsville.
This is an all-volunteer band, which includes many area school music directors, some select students, some retirees and local professional and business people.
Those who have never attended the Symphonic Band concerts will be pleasantly surprised if they judge it by smaller and less professional town bands in other cities.
This year’s concert has old favorites plus some new and interesting Christmas melodies.
Canadians in the Valley can hear a medley of songs recorded by the group Canadian Brass.
Of course, “White Christmas” and “Happy Holiday” by Irving Berlin are perennials, plus the Christmas song “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” by Mel Torme, but the flood of old and new music will cover fresh surprises for everybody.
The “Russian Christmas Music” features haunting melodies inspired by the Eastern Orthodox Church liturgical music. This was written during World War II by Alfred Reed, while he worked as a staff arranger for an Army Air Corps Band.
Be prepared to join in the traditional Christmas Sing-a-Long which will be included, probably at the end of the program.
The next concerts will be “Bullets and Broadway” Feb. 15, 2011, and “Water Music” March 22, 2011.
If you miss this concert, be sure to try again. It has been well worth hearing a majority of all their many concerts since the band was formed.