Concert Three: Sunday, December 17, 2017 at 4pm
by Maestro David Mairs
I Googled it. It was real! The Blizzard of 1947 in New York City was real! My mother’s story was right. She had decided to take my brother (5) and me (4) across the George Washington Bridge into NYC to see Handel and Gretel at the Metropolitan Opera on December 26th. Hansel and Gretel, an opera about children, was traditionally performed at Christmas time at the Met. Why not! It’s about kids, and angels, and families (and yes, a wicked witch!). We bussed into the city for the 1:00 performance. When we came out, the snow was 2 feet deep, the busses weren’t running, and my mother made some very bold and gutsy moves to get us little kids home safely. She surprised an elderly man in a big car who had slowed to a crawl on his approach to the George Washington Bridge, by throwing open his rear door, shoving us boys into the car, climbing in herself, and exclaiming, “Can you help me get these boys across the bridge?” He did.
What I remember from that encounter is the “angel music,” Humperdinck’s amazing music filling the hall as the angels came down to watch over Hansel and Gretel, who were hopelessly lost in the woods. Every time I perform this piece, as a hornist and now as a conductor, I am overwhelmed as the majesty of the orchestra accompanies the angels – “and the Glory of the LORD shown around them!”
Our Christmas concert is about angels and especially about kids – little kids and big kids – kids singing for you and escorting us into the presence of the mysterious and perhaps, the holy. From the 5th graders from the Seguin area to the Seguin High School Choir, the voices of kids will take you places that you’ll want to go. Enjoy the trip!