Share This Page

River City Brass unwraps 'Christmas Overture'

| Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Tribune-Review file
James Gourlay director of River City Brass, conducts the band.

Amid some of the traditional musical wrappings of holiday concerts, River City Brass will present a new gift to its listeners.

The band will play Nigel Hess' “A Christmas Overture” in its “Christmas Brasstacular” holiday concerts that begin Dec. 5 at Beulah Presbyterian Church in Churchill.

The arrangement for brass band is a North American premiere of the orchestral work from 2012.

River City general director James Gourlay says the work was a big hit in the United Kingdom last year, and he is excited about presenting a new medley of holiday songs. He compares it to Leroy Anderson's oft-played “A Christmas Festival,” but is glad to present Hess' “own take on the Christmas songs.”

The shows will include a number of Christmas classics, but also will include a look at “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” that Gourlay says is “nationalized” to represent Santa Claus' trip around the world.

The concerts also will feature school and community choirs that Gourlay says provide a different sound and help to lure a different audience for the band.

“We get people who might not think about going to a brass band concert, but will go to hear the choirs,” he says. “But what can be more like Christmas than brass music and choirs?”

The concerts and the choirs at them are: Dec. 5 at Beulah Presbyterian with the Plum High School Choir; Dec. 6 at Carson Middle School, McCandless, with that school's choir and the grade 6-12 choir from Pittsburgh's Creative and Performing Arts School; Dec. 7 at the Palace Theatre in Greensburg with the Westmoreland Choral Society; Dec. 10 at Upper St. Clair High School with that school's choir; Dec. 11 at the Lincoln Park Community Arts Center, Beaver County, with the Central Valley High School Choir; Dec. 12 at Carnegie Music Hall, Oakland, with the Shaler Area and Valley Area high-school choirs.

All concerts start at 7:30 p.m. Admission: $19-$41. Details: 412-434-7222 or www.rivercitybrass.org.

Bob Karlovits is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at bkarlovits@tribweb.com or 412-320-7852.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.