Free Christmas concert at the Bijou Sunday

Families have both the chance to hear live Christmas music and the opportunity to enjoy free entrance to one of Knoxville’s most historic theaters, renowned for its acoustics. The Knoxville Community Band will perform a free Christmas concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3, at the Bijou Theatre.

The Christmas tunes will range from classical and pops to children’s favorites, and some traditional carols are presented in a nontraditional way.

Classical pieces will include “The Hallelujah Chorus” from the oratorio “The Messiah” by George Frideric Handel and “March of the Toys” from the operetta “Babes in Toyland” by Victor Herbert.

“Winter Holiday” will feature a medley of “Winter Wonderland,” “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” and “Frosty the Snow Man.”

Stephanie Walker, who plays clarinet in the band, will be the guest director for “Christmas is Coming!” She has a degree in music from the University of Tennessee.

The band is directed by Larry Hicks, retired band director of Heritage High School in Maryville. Mark Boring, also retired from the Blount County school system, is the assistant band director.

The band is comprised of instrumentalists in the community who like to play, and most have been playing since grammar school. Some players are band directors who like to take time to keep in practice on their major instruments. Others are professionals in the community who learned to play in school and don’t want to lose their expertise. All are volunteers, and all play because they love music.

The band is sponsored by the Knoxville Parks and Recreation Department. The group plays year-round at festivals and other special events and performs a series of outdoor concerts during the summer. New members with expertise on any wind or percussion instruments are welcome. Practices are from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays at Northwest Middle School.

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