Songs from many nations will expand the traditional carols when the McAllen Symphonic Band holds its annual Christmas Concert on Dec. 8.

For most years since being incorporated in 1974, the Symphonic Band played mainly American music. Now they have expanded with Christmas classics from around the world.

Fast-arriving Winter Texans have been buying tickets at a record rate. Tickets remain available for $5 at the McAllen Chamber of Commerce and other sites including the Weslaco Chamber of Commerce and all the Wilder RV Resorts in that chain.

The McAllen Civic Center on South 10th Street has 1,776 seats and might have to stop selling tickets this year. There is no standing room if all are filled, and no booking available for a second performance.

Director David Isadore will create many strokes and tempos for his baton in varied international Christmas music.

Foreign classics come from Mexico to Germany, plus Spain, France, England, Ireland, and others that will surprise, from the Caribbean to the current Middle East, where Christmas began.

This highly popular concert may well need more Christmas concerts or a larger auditorium next year.

As true music-lovers await this annual event, here are more in a series about the McAllen Symphononic Band’s dedicated musicians.

“The flute and piccolo solos are great.” Dr. Malcolm J. Coleman, flute and piccolo.

“The band is a fun program to be part of,” says Humberto Torres III, clarinet, student.

“I like playing all kinds of music, especially the old tunes,” Mary Ellen Beard, clarinet.

“Retired band director,” Glen Johnson, trumpet, Meadow Lakes, Texas, said it all with his former occupation.

“Enjoy playing and performing my percussion instruments, particularly mallets and timpani,” David Cheatam, elementary music teacher.

“I like all the different music we play,” Noe Martinez, assistant band director at Pharr-San Juan-Alamo High School.

“An opportunity to make music with others,” Art Ratley, retired school band director from McAllen.

“I like the direction we’re musically heading in,” Issac Vasquez, percussion, Mission band director.

“Best, opportunity to work and perform with people who are competent and pleasant. Worst, we need more time to practice,” said Glen Primmer.

“It’s just fun to play in another talented ensemble,” said Abel Ocanas, student of euphonium in Edinburg.

“I like the people in the band,” Yingching Jettr, bassoon, music director, Edinburg.

“Allows me to pursue my love of music,” said Robert Ballinger, French horn, college professor.

Future performances will be Feb. 9 and March 23, 2010.