A Memorable Christmas Festival

After devouring the celebratory Christmas Feast at Mac on Tuesday, December 9, I meandered my way over to Gasson’s Irish Hall with hot chocolate in hand and green Hunter boots splashing through the rain (not dashing through the snow, as previously hoped). I was on my way to the Christmas Festival, presented by the Boston College Symphonic Band and University Wind Ensemble. The sideways rain and wind soon gave way as I entered the ever-majestic Gasson Hall. The hall was filled with warm lighting and happy people, just what I desired after the day of treacherous weather.

I sat upon the balcony and gazed down at the beautiful array of young and old. A little girl was dressed in a Santa hat, holding the hand of her grandmother. BC students lined the walls of the Irish room as the more seasoned concertgoers filled in the golden chairs. This was no doubt a family affair.

Photo courtesy of Boston College Bands / Facebook

The crowd suddenly hushed and the concert promptly began. The first two songs preformed by the Symphonic Band were not holiday themed. However, the concert began with smooth and calm songs, which got my mind away from the ever-looming pressure of finals and back into a restful, holiday state. The sound was imperial and classic, a refreshing change from my constant pop-song repeat.

The concert then took an amazing turn. The instruments began playing a familiar tune but I could not quite put my finger on what song it was. Soon, the light and airy sound of the flutes came in and I almost cried out “Do you want to build a snowman?” This “Frozen” medley was beyond my wildest winter dreams. The classic songs that had come alive in the movie leaped into our world in a unique way at this concert. The little girl in the Santa hat jumped with excitement. She burst out in quiet song and bopped her little head along to her seemingly favorite song.

The Frozen medley soon came to an end and the Christmas magic came to full fruition with the classical rendition of “Greensleeves”. I felt increasingly cultured and mature with every note they played. The band concluded with “Sleigh Ride” as Christmas bells joyously rang throughout the room. The song was grand and uplifting, mentally transporting me to a horse-drawn carriage in the snow.

After the Symphonic Band there was a seemingly uneventful intermission. However, the break was livened up when five musicians walked to the front and plopped down with their tubas. With sparkly hats and antlers, the five tubas commenced a superbly entertaining Christmas arrangement. It was a tuba-filled Christmas wonderland. Their performance made me giggle and sing along to their rendition of “Jingle Bells” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”

Photo courtesy of Boston College Bands / Facebook

The giggles and light atmosphere transitioned right into the beginning of the University Wind Ensemble’s rendition of The Nutcracker Suite. Wow. If I could explain a class act in one performance, this would be it. To hear the Nutcracker Suite live brought back fond memories of seeing the ballet with my parents. If only I could be that elegant, I thought as my rain boots awkwardly squeaked at just the wrong moments. I sat back and enjoyed the fact that these students could play so perfectly such a classic and well-known piece.

This concert emulated everything that is classic and necessary this holiday season. If you were not able to go this year, I recommend putting this event in your calendar next year. The classic tunes and elegant atmosphere will put your mind at rest, if only for a few moments, and remind you of the light at the end of our finals-filled tunnel: Winter break and Christmas!

Grew up on the shore of Connecticut, and destined to travel the world. In the mean time, BC is her favorite place to be. She likes to write, and loves to talk. She also greatly enjoys green tea, grapefruits and cats.

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