A Musical Kick-Off to the Holiday Season


On December 8, the West Potomac Band performed their annual winter concert. Many of the musical selections were holiday-themed, from classic pieces such as selections from the “Nutcracker” to modern holiday favorites like “Sleigh Ride.”

“It’s mainly winter music, which is fun for everyone,” explained junior and trumpet-player Henry Drembus.

The Percussion Ensemble kicked off the concert with a piece from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” followed by selections from the “Nutcracker.” The Symphonic (beginning) Band followed with a few non-holiday songs to shake things up.

“We’ve been practicing for this concert for about a month,” said junior and trombone-player Claytis Egbulum.

The Jazz Band, a smaller ensemble consisting of brass instruments and saxophones, delivered rhythmic arrangements of classic holiday tunes, ending with a fast, swing-version of “Sleigh Ride,” that had the whole audience tapping their feet.

“There are a lot of ensembles performing so everyone can find exactly what kind of music they want to play,” said Drembus.

The Wind Ensemble (intermediate) slowed things down with “Mary’s Boy Child” and “A Winter’s Carol,” featuring numerous soloists. The Symphonic Winds (advanced) carried it home with “Overture to a Winter Celebration” and “We Wish You a Mambo Christmas,” a beachy spin on a recognizable Christmas melody.

“My favorite part about this concert is that it’s really festive,” said junior and trombone-player Halen Anderson.

Finally, the musicians from every ensemble came together to play the famous annual performance of Leroy Andersons’s “Sleigh Ride,” complete with the trumpet horse-whinny from Drembus dressed in a Santa suit.