’Tis the season

Iowa Central kicks off the holidays with its annual concert

-Submitted photo

The Iowa Central Community College Encore Singers, Jazz Band, Concert Band and Concert Choir will take the stage at Decker Auditorium for the annual Christmas concert.

-Submitted photo
The Iowa Central Community College Encore Singers, Jazz Band, Concert Band and Concert Choir will take the stage at Decker Auditorium for the annual Christmas concert.

The holidays are here, and Iowa Central Community College has been busy preparing the annual free holiday concert as a way to spread Christmas cheer within the community.

The show will be performed Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in Decker Auditorium on the college’s Fort Dodge campus.

The Wednesday show starts at 1 p.m. The Thursday and Friday performances will begin at 7 p.m.

“We try to offer the program as a gift to the community, and a way to show off all the hard work we have done leading up to the concert,” said Paul Bloomquist, the college’s band director.

A new stage arrangement will be used for this year’s concerts.

“I am very excited about this show as we have a new design in place for it,” said Kathleen Schreier, the college’s choral director. “The new format allows the singers and dancers to seamlessly go into their songs, and allows more collaboration with the band. We actually modeled the format after Jennifer Nettles Christmas Special, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out.”

“I am excited to try out the new design setup this year,” Bloomquist said. “It is a lot of fun to collaborate with the choir and to see how the bands will fit in on stage with the singers and dancers.”

The stage will be designed by Susan Knapp, along with the lobby.

“Susan always does a great job of designing and decorating the stage and lobby each year,” Schreier said. “It will be decorated beautifully for Christmas to help the audience get into the spirit.”

Concert Band and Concert Choir will begin the night by performing during the first half of the Christmas concert.

The band will start off with “Christmas in Sarajevo.” Audience members can also expect to hear them perform “Greensleeves” and “Canticle: All Creatures of Our God King.”

Other songs audience members can expect to hear during the first half include the Concert Choir performing “Away in the Manger,” with special guest violinist William Sergeant. Sergeant will also be performing with them on “O Notte,” and they will be joined by cellist, T.H. Hoefing.

After the Concert Band and Concert Choir are finished, there will be an intermission.

The Encore Singers and Jazz Band will start off the second half of the concert together by performing “Cool Yule.” Other songs the Encore Singers will be performing include holiday classics such as “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “Christmas is the Best Time of the Year.”

The Jazz Band will be performing “Let it Snow” and “Sleigh Ride.”

Bloomquist likes to choose pieces that are less traditional and not overdone during the holidays, but he also wants to respect what the audience wants to hear.

“I don’t want to overwhelm the students so early in the season,” said Bloomquist, “but I also want to keep the excitement of Christmas alive.”

The Encore Singers and Jazz Band will come together again to end the concert by performing “Man with the Bag/Jingle Bell Rock,” and “Run, Run Rudolph.”

“We will also be bringing back two alumni this year for the holiday concert,” Schreier said. “Greg Merrit, bass player, and Jake Merrit, percussion, will be accompanying the band.”

If You Go

What: The Iowa Central Community College Christmas concert

When: 1 p.m.

Wednesday;

7 p.m. Thursday

and Friday

Where: Decker

Auditorium, Iowa Central Community College campus

Admission: Free

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