The festive sounds of the Yuletide season will ring joyously forth this weekend as the Weeki Wachee Winds Community Concert Band will perform its signature Holiday Concert at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2-3, at the Spring Hill United Church of Christ, 4244 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill.
These performances will be presented with free admission and are open to the community; donations will be gratefully accepted.
“Our band includes approximately 45 musicians,” said band director Mark Hengesh of Weeki Wachee. “Their ages are high school through post-retirement.”
Hengesh claimed that a common goal unites all of these talented musicians. “Our goal is to provide concerts for our community and opportunities for local musicians to play,” he said.
Their shared love of playing excellent music also unites them. “We love performing for our community,” said Hengesh. “It’s our third season.”
The holiday concerts will feature a rich and melodic diversity of Yuletide classics.
The set list is scheduled to include:
“Festival of Light!” by Stephen Melillo
“A Christmas Portrait,” arranged by Jerry Nowak
“Auld Lang Syne,” arranged by Chip Davis and Robert Longfield
“Do You Hear What I Hear?” adapted by Jay Bocook
“A Christmas Celebration,” arranged Kenny Bierschenk
“Let There Be Peace,” arranged by Scott Boerma
“A Charlie Brown Christmas,” arranged by Carl Strommen
“Suite from The Nutcracker,” by Tchaikovsky, arranged by James Curnow
“An Irving Berlin Christmas” by Brymer and Brown
“O Magnum Mysterium,” by Morten Lauridse, arranged by H. Robert Reynolds
“March of the Toys/Toyland,” by Victor Herbert/arr. Tom Wallace
“Ding Dong! Merrily on High,” arranged by Strand, Helge and Dawson
Weeki Wachee Winds is seeking new members—more musicians wishing to share the gift of quality wind music with the community.
“We are always seeing new members in all sections, except flute and oboe, especially brass, clarinets and bass clarinet,” said Hengesh. “Rehearsals are Thursday evenings from 7-9 at Spring Hill United Church of Christ, 4244 Mariner. Rehearsals for our February 24 and 25 concerts start on January 4.”
Hengesh is a retired school band director with 40 years of experience in the Chicago suburban area and as a performer in the Suncoast Symphony Orchestra and Nature Coast Concert Band. His goal in founding Weeki Wachee Winds was to form a community concert band based in Hernando County, one centered around playing woodwind, brass and percussion instruments.
They play various music, including marches, show tunes, holiday selections, light classical, standard concert band literature, and patriotic and contemporary pieces.
Whether playing a holiday show or an arts event, a spring concert or a community event, the Weeki Wachee Winds will fill the venue halls with the sounds of drums, xylophones, trumpets, horns and flutes, bringing music to the public at least four shows per season. The band last hit the stage in October with its famous fall concert, featuring musical selections from artists as diverse as Chicago, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Frank Sinatra. Regardless of the venue or the occasion of any given Weeki Wachee Winds show, Hengesh and company will always keep one mission in mind.
“To provide musical entertainment, music appreciation and opportunities for musical expression and growth to the community.”
Those interested in joining Weeki Wachee Winds can visit the orchestra’s website at weekiwacheewinds.com and fill out the application available in the Join Us section.