Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Catch-Up

I’m very impressed by bloggers who can keep up during the holidays. I go to the events and take the pictures, but getting to the blog phase is sometimes slow going. So here are a few events I’ve attended recently:

Larry Stephenson Band

Bluegrass FM
is sponsoring a concert series of top notch bluegrass acts at Massaponax High School. December’s concert on the 6th opened with Balsam Range, a band we were unfamiliar with, but that had excellent musicians that we enjoyed very much. The headliner was the Larry Stephenson Band. I’ve seen Larry in concert in the old days with Bill Harrell and the Virginians, and with the Bluegrass Cardinals, but this was the first time I’d seen his own band perform. Larry’s group plays in pretty traditional bluegrass style, with Larry’s high tenor voice taking the lead on every number. I like the high tenor voice, so this suits me fine. (Not my photo, by the way)

The next concert will be Jan. 10, and will feature Junior Sisk & Rambler’s Choice, and Kenny & Amanda Smith. I’m not familiar with either group, but the concerts are free (just call the station for free tickets in advance), and there isn’t a bad seat in the house, so you might want to check it out.

St. George Voices at the Griffin

Last Sunday afternoon, I went to the Griffin Bookstore downtown to hear the St. George Voices sing Christmas music. I really can’t get enough of live Christmas music, especially a talented group like this one, at a cozy, casual little venue like the Griffin. And my friends, the Accidentals, sang a few numbers in between sets, and joined the Voices on one number. I even got a little shopping done.

Stafford Regional Chamber Chorale

Last Sunday night, we enjoyed this concert of half holiday favorites, half highlights from the Messiah. The seasonal selections included classical and popular pieces, and the Messiah highlights included a few that the Fredericksburg Community Chorus cut this year, so I got to hear “Lift Up Your Heads” after all. Some wonderful soloists, and a fine directorial premiere by Stafford High choral director, Joe Eveler. We also got to hear Deborah Me, the scholarship-winning pianist, perform a piece by Rachmaninoff. Nice job, all around.

Shopping with Santa

And finally, I found Santa shopping the close-out sale at e.e. smith. I know there are a lot of Santas around these days, but I think this one might be the real deal.

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