By Kathryn Kopchik
LEWISBURG, Pa. — The winter holiday celebration at Bucknell University's Weis Center begins Saturday, Dec. 3, at 8 p.m. with the performance, "Christmas Bells are Swingin' — the Stan Kenton Christmas Carols," with Boston Brass and Brass All-Stars Big Band.
One of the busiest and best known quintets today, Boston Brass expands its trademark entertainment by teaming up with all-star brass players from around the world — including current and former members of Canadian Brass, Dallas Brass and Empire Brass — to perform fiery big band arrangements of Christmas carols, including "Greensleeves" and "Motown Jingle Bells."
Attendees who come to the Weis Center early can enjoy a pre-performance brass trio performance by Bucknell University juniors Mislav Forrester and Kevin Hower and 2010 alumnus Nate Sloyer, who will play in the Weis Center lobby from 7:15 to 7:45 p.m..
Friendly and fun
For nearly 25 years, Boston Brass has set out to establish a one-of-a-kind musical experience, from exciting classical arrangements, to burning jazz standards, and the best of the original brass quintet repertoire. The ensemble aims to provide audiences with a wide selection of musical styles in unique arrangements in a friendly and fun atmosphere.
Boston Brass plays to audiences at concerts, educational venues and jazz festivals in 49 states and 21 countries. The ensemble has been featured on "The CBS Early Show," National Public Radio's Performance Today and The Great American Brass Band Festival. In addition, the ensemble has helped raise more than $100,000 for VH1's Save the Music program, giving musical instruments to schools in need.
Boston Brass has two holiday recordings, "Christmas Bells are Swingin'" and "The Stan Kenton Christmas Carols," featuring the Boston Brass All-Stars Big Band playing songs made popular by the Stan Kenton Orchestra.
The ensemble tours a holiday show each year featuring many of the songs from these two albums, combined with a variety of solo and combo selections and some fun surprises, which has established the show as an audience favorite.
Tickets are $20; discounts for senior citizens and students are available. Advance tickets can be charged at www.bucknell.edu/boxoffice or by calling 570-577-1000.
Advance tickets are available in person from several locations including the Weis Center lobby weekdays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; the Barnes & Noble at Bucknell University bookstore in Lewisburg weekdays and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, 12:30 to 4 p.m.; and the CAPS Center Box Office, located on the ground floor of the Elaine Langone Center, weekdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets also may be purchased one hour prior to each performance.
Paper Bag Players matinee
On Dec. 10, the Paper Bag Players will present their annual Janet Weis family matinee. "Laugh! Laugh! Laugh!" begins at 1 p.m.
The show includes a musical story about Laura's first day of school, the tale of Master Salesman Kevin and his Dandy Do-Everything Dynamo, the adventures of Amazing Amy, the importance of looking past first impressions, and the quest to make the perfect bubble.
Admission is free to children and accompanying adults in the community and region through the generosity of Janet Weis. No tickets or advance reservations are required. Attendees are asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy or a canned good for donation to needy area families.
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