Free Winter Concerts Coming to Kelsey Theatre


The public is invited to enjoy three free winter concerts at Mercer County Community College's Kelsey Theatre, located on the campus at 1200 Old Trenton Road. For more information contact the Music Department at MCCC, 609-586-4800, ext. 3735.

On Wednesday evening, Dec. 14, at 8 p.m., the College Chorus will perform its Winter Concert, “Joy To The World.” Conducted by Marjorie Herman, music director, the program will feature a varied mix of sacred selections alternating with lighter fare. Included is Haydn’s Missa St. Johannes de Deo, Christmas carols and other holiday favorites. The MCCC Chorus is made up of college students and people from surrounding communities.

The College Jazz Band will present its Winter Concert on Thursday, Dec. 15, at 8 p.m. Directed by James Kelly, the Jazz Band will present a varied program, to include such jazz classics as Duke Ellington’s Things Ain’t What they Used to Be and Charlie Parker’s Yardbird Suite, as well as standards from the Great American Songbook including Stormy Weather and My Funny Valentine. The program will also include Professor Kelly’s own arrangement of the Sonny Rollins classic, Pent-Up House. All selections will feature standout improvisations by college jazz students.

The Mercer County Community Band's Winter Concert is set for Dec. 21 at 8 p.m. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the band will present holiday music, and will perform the finale from Dvorak's New World Symphony and a swing medley of hits by Hoagie Charmichael.

According to Band Director Louis Woodruff, an adjunct faculty member at MCCC, "The band captures the essence of the community, involving generations dedicated to a shared mission. The youngest band member is 14; the oldest is 78.” More than 300 area musicians have participated in the band over the years, and although there are no auditions, band members must successfully master their parts.

The band performs winter and spring concerts to packed houses, and performs at Mercer County Community College’s graduation ceremonies, at community events, and at retirement homes. Two very popular interactive children's concerts are performed each year at Kelsey Theatre. "One of our missions is music education," Woodruff said. "We highlight pieces of composition before playing them to draw the audience in, whether it's adults or children."

The community band is a family affair. The marriage of two band members resulted in a son who also plays in the band. Another mother and son participate, as well as a brother and sister team. Practice is held at Mercer County Community College's music studio every Monday evening.

The band in supported by the college and is funded in part by the Mercer County Cultural and Heritage Commission, through a grant from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

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