‘Glorious Sounds of the Season’ is a non-stop holiday spectacular


The vocal groups sing carols to start the concert, conducted by Dr. Scholz. Photo credit: Josh Cozine

The lights dimmed, hiding the movement of ensembles as they quickly filed down from the Harlen Adams Theatre stage, lining the walkways alongside the audience. A spotlight focused on a small group, on the stage-left walkway, their brass bass instruments glimmering in the light of the otherwise darkened theatre. More performers shuffled to other areas of the stage and theatre as the well-known melody of “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch” bellowed out in deep bass.

The audience barely had to time to laugh at the fun rendition before the spotlight shone across to the stage-right walkway, as a small choir opened right away into “Ding Dong Merrily on High.” Lights focused seamlessly back on stage where a children’s choir jumped into “‘Twas in the Moon of Wintertime,” before “A Holly Jolly Holiday,” where the audience joined in and sang along.

This fast-paced, one-into-the-next style performance was the scene each evening this weekend as multiple choirs, bands and symphonies took over Harlen Adams for “The Glorious Sounds of the Season,” full of non-stop holiday hits.

“Unless you wanna be here until midnight, no applause,” director David Scholz said, addressing the audience before the performance began, and making note of how the show was designed to go immediately into the next number once one had finished.

The show ran for about 90 minutes from start to finish, with absolutely zero breaks or downtime, and used the entirety of the auditorium—with, at some points, conductors even amongst the audience, directing bands lining the side walls. Interspersed were sing-alongs, with the audience warming up and participating more and more with each passing song, until the finale, “Hark The Herald Angels Sing,” when all stood and sang together, filling the air with hundreds of voices and symphonic accompaniment.

The children’s choir performs “Jingle Bells.’ Photo credit: Josh Cozine
Hayley Finetti sings the Kelly Clarkson version of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” Photo credit: Josh Cozine
The Chamber Singers sing “Carol of the Bells.” Photo Credit: Josh Cozine.
Dr. Scholz conducts the A Capella Choir. Photo credit: Josh Cozine
The children’s choir sings carols. Photo credit: Josh Cozine
The A Capella Choir sings “Blow Blow Thou Winter Wind.” Photo credit: Josh Cozine.
Members of the band took the side of the auditorium to play “Holiday Bells.” Photo credit: Josh Cozine.
Dillion Novotny jams a jazzy solo for “Frosty the Snowman.” Photo credit: Josh Cozine

If it could be said anyone stole the show, it was two solo performances, a saxophone jazz solo in the middle of a jazz rendition of “Frosty the Snowman,” and a lounge-style performance of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” by Hayley Finetti, with a simple piano accompaniment.

“It was wonderful,” Finetti said about performing her solo after the final performance. She said she hadn’t sung for an audience since high school.

“Every time I’m performing, whatever stress I feel about assignments, finals, and life just washes away,” she said.

Hayley Finetti chose a lounge-style version of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” for her solo. Photo credit: Josh Cozine.
The brass section joins the organ onstage for a medley. Photo credit: Josh Cozine.

Dr. Scholz said the audience really enjoyed the performance as well.

“People enjoyed the atmosphere,” he said. “It gets them out of their regular life for a bit and into the holiday season.”

Josh Cozine can be reached at [email protected] or @joshcozine on Twitter.