Sparkling Lights and Reindeer Flights
See below for dates and venues:
The Whitehouse Wind Symphony, a community band under the direction of Branchburg resident James P. Sheeley, Jr., will present three holiday concerts this December at various locations throughout Hunterdon County, New Jersey. (Right: The Whitehouse Wind Symphony performs a festive concert at Flemington United Methodist Church)
The band’s annual holiday concert series is extremely popular with Hunterdon locals! This year, concertgoers will enjoy the band’s arrangements of classic Christmas carols such as “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” “We Three Kings,” “Oh Come, All Ye Faithful,” and “O Christmas Tree.” The band will also perform a medley of favorite holiday songs, including “Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer,” “Frosty the Snowman,” and “The Christmas Song.” Also on the program is “A Rhapsody for Hanukkah” by Stephen Bulla. Audience members will also have the opportunity to sing along with the band, led by distinguished soprano Hope Osbourn.
WHEN: Friday, December 1, 2023, at 7:30pm WHERE: Whitehouse United Methodist Church (the band’s namesake and rehearsal venue), located at 73 Old Highway 28 in Whitehouse. Parking is located behind the church and on the street. WUMC is fully wheelchair accessible via the elevator at the west entrance of the building.
WHEN: Sunday, December 3, 2023. at 3pm WHERE: Flemington United Methodist Church, located at 116 Main Street in Flemington. Parking is available in several nearby municipal lots. FUMC is fully wheelchair accessible via a ramp at the entrance from Main Street.
WHEN: Saturday, December 9, 2023, at 3pm WHERE: Readington Reformed Church, located at 124 Readington Road in Readington. The church has a gravel parking lot located immediately to the east of the education wing, with additional parking located on a grass field at the rear of the cemetery. The church has a handicap drop-off area located at the rear of the education wing which is equipped with a chair lift for persons with mobility issues; however, restrooms are only accessible via stairs.
All three of these concerts are free and open to the general public, although donations will be accepted to benefit the band, a non-profit group comprised entirely of volunteer musicians, as well as the host churches. (Left: Euphonium player Mark Osman of Branchburg plays emphatically with the Whitehouse Wind Symphony during a previous holiday concert!)
In the event of dangerous travel conditions or public health emergency, the announcement to postpone or cancel any of these concerts will be made on the band’s website (whitehousewindsymphony.org), Facebook page (facebook.com/whitehousewind), and Instagram feed (instagram.com/whitehousewind).
Livestreaming will be offered when possible through Facebook; the stream will begin approximately half an hour before the concert.
The Whitehouse Wind Symphony was founded by conductor emeritus Casey Bork on April 15, 1996. It is dedicated to presenting the best in all varieties of wind band literature. Since its founding, the band has grown rapidly, attracting experienced musicians as regular members from all over New Jersey, as well as New York City and eastern Pennsylvania. It is currently comprised of approximately 50 amateur and professional musicians who perform together regularly to enthusiastic audiences throughout central and northern New Jersey. The band was named the winner of the Hunterdon Happening List in the category of favorite band/musician in 2021, 2022 and 2023! (Above, right: Emily DeLessio of Branchburg plays her French Horn tenderly at a previous concert by the Whitehouse Wind Symphony.)
The Whitehouse Wind Symphony is committed to making music accessible to all. For information about venue accessibility, please send an email to email@example.com, or call the band’s ADA coordinator, Margaret Smith, at 908-534-6662.
Funding has been made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, through funds administered by the Hunterdon County Cultural & Heritage Commission.
Photos by Diane Giangreco