By Samantha Walker
On Nov. 29, attendees were given a behind-the-scenes look at Thiel’s 66th Annual Christmas Festival during the last common hour of the semester.
Brian Harris and Julie Neish welcomed the beginning of the Christmas season by taking attendees back stage through their presentation, delving into how each piece of Thiel’s Christmas Festival was put together.
While the audience’s chairs were only sparsely filled, the common hour did not suffer as a result.
“I don’t like doing songs I’ve done before.” Neish said while explaining how she chose songs.
Though they were scheduled to perform the classic “Silent Night”, it was clear not every song would be known by every radio station.
As Neish avoided what was commonly played, Harris, director of the band, said, “I gave them something challenging yet attainable.”
The song choices were not the only topic for this common hour. Marketing, rehearsals, projections, and set up were also mentioned.
On the topic of rehearsals, Harris exclaimed, “The wind ensemble has had only four rehearsals!”
To really help the audience understand what goes into taking part in a music festival, the audience was broken into four parts: base, tenor, alto, and soprano. After being taught a line of one of the songs scheduled to be performed in Latin, each section of the audience was to give it a try singing in the tone assigned.
When all sections had learned the line, Neish started playing piano and Harris jumped in with a trombone.
The activity not only taught the audience the work that goes into performing, it also brought life to a slide show presentation.
Some students of the chior have never sung before. They went from no experience to fifty-page songs within a semester.
To end the common hour Neish explained what they really want to accomplish through the festival, “We want to take you on a bit of a journey.”