Holiday Concert Review

The Theme Of This Year’s Holiday Concert was Christmas Favorites. Once again we had another great Guest Performance by The New Hampshire Youth Singers who sang I See A Star and Holly Jolly Santa Claus. Both choruses joined together to sing Dominick The Donkey which was a great closer for the 1st Half Of The Concert.

Favorite songs in the concert aside from Dominick The Donkey included African Noel,Sing We Now Of Christmas, Mistletoe and Holly, I See A Star and Nutcracker Jingles.

White Christmas wrapped up the concert. It was great to see a song performed again from the first concert I was in with SVC four years AGO. White Christmas is a popular Christmas song originated by Bing Crosby and is from the Irving Berlin musical Holiday Inn. In the concert four years ago solos in this piece were by Heather Arsenault and Bryan Higgs. This time around there were no soloists in this piece but with or without solos it is a truly beautiful piece.

Twas the Night Before Christmas was originally adopted from what was also called A Visit from St. Nicholas, with the writing created by Clement Crake Moore in 1822. It’s a wonderful prologue about Christmas Eve when Santa with his eight reindeer go up on the housetop, and Santa goes down through the chimney with a bag of toys. It was one of the first times someone believed how Santa would do this every Christmas Eve. There were spoken solos describing St. Nick from Ellie Risley, Brenda Cannon, Christy Belvin, Jean Desany, and Arthur Harkness. The line where St. Nick goes to work and fills the stockings before going back up the chimney was a sung solo by Tenor veteran John Potelle. For a bonus feature, I found a feature of this classic tale on DOS that I used to have with my old IBM Computer back when I was little. The link:

Review Contributors: Patty Helbig, Derrick Walcott, Jane Walcott

Favorite Chorus Songs

As previously mentooned Matt and I are spreading our wings and exploring other performance opportunities in the Greater Nashua area. We’d like to take the opportunity to share a list of our favorite songs from through out the years.

The review of the Holiday Concert will be posted tomorrow.

Janine’s Favorites 

Holiday Concerts 

1. Nutcracker Jingles

2. Wizards In Winter

3.  Believe

4.That”s Christmas To Me

5. African Noel

6. Hot Chocolate

7.  Happy XMas War Is Over

8. Nuttin For Christmas

9. I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm

10. Blue Christmas

Spring Concerts and Showcases 

1. Under The Sea

2. Cerf Volant

3. Happy Working Song

4. Who Lives Who Dies Who Tells Your Story

5. I’ll Be There

6. Wind Beneath My Wings

7. If I Didn’t Have You

8. I Want The Good Times Back

9.  For Good

10 Omnia Sol

Matt’s Favorites

Holiday Concerts

  1. Jingle Bell Hallelujah
  2. That’s Christmas To Me
  3. Happy Xmas (War is Over)
  4. Hanerot Halulu
  5. Nuttin’ For Christmas
  6. The Twelve Days of Regifted Christmas
  7. Good King Wenceslas
  8. Flowers in Winter
  9. Sing With the Angels
  10. Hark! The Harold Angels Sing

Spring Semester

  1. Blackbird
  2. Jersey Boys Medley
  3. Dias Irae
  4. The Lake
  5. Make a Joyful Noise
  6. Shenandoah
  7. Take The A Train
  8. Love
  9. Who Lives Who Dies Who Tells Your Story
  10. Whistling Gypsy (I had a solo in it!)

And last but not least..Under the Sea from 2016 Showcase that I did on my own.

That’s Christmas To Me

The bigger meaning of this piece by Pentatonix is the true meaning of Christmas which is family. As I get older I appreciate the spirit of the holidays and being surrounded by loved ones. That’s Christmas To Me is by far one of my favorite songs from any of the holiday concerts I have performed in over the past couple years. There are beautiful harmonies and melodies in it which gave it a nice blend. Solos in this piece were by Jackie Lowe. John Poetelle and Patrick McCarty.

As I prepare to open a new chapter in my performance career I would like to thank Souhegan Valley Chorus for all of the wonderful experiences they have given me over the years. In the coming year I will be exploring other performing opportunities in the Nashua area. With the recent relocation of my parents to Maine last fall Milford is quite a distance for me and Matt to travel and is not really local for us anymore.

Memories are lovely and we will hold them dear to us always.

This blog will no longer be active as of January 1st 2019.

Happy XMas War Is Over

I have had a bit of a struggle finding  info on songs  I am supposed to analyze for my   Songs Of Christmas Past  Blog series thus my posting  schedule has had to be altered a few times.  This week’s song is an example… the song  I was supposed to analyze was   Jingle  Bell Hallejuah  but  due to lack of information  I have decided to  talk about  Happy   XMAS  War  Is Over   instead.



As I mentioned  last semester  when  I analyzed  the Ticket To Ride  Beatles  Medley  I was first introduced to the Beatles in college  thanks to a band that my friends from theatre had called  JFJ that did  Beatles cover songs.     Happy  XMAS  War  Is Over was released  1971 after the Beatles  had broken up.   John and  Yoko Ono formed their own  band.  This song was recorded with the Harlem Youth Choir.     I always thought this was a  beautiful   Christmas song.   It is one of my favorites.     SVC  performed this in our  Sounds of The Season  Concert in 2016.  Guest artists  for this song were Patrick  McCarty, the SHS  Acapella Choir and Jim  Summers on Guitar.   The audience was invited to sing along too which made  the performance extra special.   The harmonies were beautiful  which was made this song easily  the best song we sang in the whole concert.

Remaining Entries in the Songs Of Christmas Past Series

Wow!   It is   November  already. Hard to believe  that this semester has been flying  by so quick    I have missed everyone  this semester and  can’t wait until the concert which is just 1 month and  5 days away.    Matt and I will be back next semester.



I hope everyone has been enjoying my   Songs of Christmas Past  Blog series.  It has been fun  reviewing songs from   past   holiday concerts.   Unfortunately  in some cases  I have been  unable to find information on the songs we have sung.   Thus my posting schedule   this series has been changed.

Friday 11-9    Jingle  Bell Hallelujah

Friday 11-16      Bonus Analysis    40th Anniversary of Grease 

This was originally supposed to be  my analysis for  the  Top 40 Showcase in  June.  Unfortunately  the showcase was canceled due to  low ticket sales.   I have decided to   do this  analysis anyway  just for the fun of it.  I hope people will enjoy it.

No Entry  the week of Thanksgiving  due to Holiday Traveling

Friday 11-30   That’s Christmas To  Me

Friday 12-7  Happy XMAS  War  Is Over

Wednesday  12-19

Please note schedule  change!  This entry  will be posted on my Theatre Is My Life Blog as the  Milford and Souhegan High School    Holiday  Concerts will also be reviewed.



I would like to   take this opportunity  to wish everyone  a Happy Thanksgiving!  I am  a bit early.   I am especially thankful for all the   support this blog  has received  in its first and hope it will continue to be successful   in the years  to come.  We look forward to analyzing more music next semester.     For future  reference  it is looking likely that in  Fall 2019   we will be stepping away  from  doing this blog due to being busy with our  Commitment Ceremony and honeymoon.  We will make a final decision about this in August 2019. 

The Nutcracker Jingles

It’s hard to be believe we are in November now. This is my favorite month of the whole year. It’s when we start to wonder if it’s necessary to start Christmas planning; although it’s not even Thanksgiving yet. When it is this time of year, one of the most beloved holiday classics of all time comes to do performances in New England-at places such as Boston at the Wang Theater and the Palace Theater in Manchester, NH. It’s the Nutcracker Suite; originally scored by Tchaikovsky.

In this song, the jingles are twisted with the familiar song of Jingle Bells. The song begins with the traditional Jingle Bell melody, then the second one is twisted with the March of the Toy Soldiers, followed by the Sugar Plum Fairy, then the Dance of the Reed Pipes, and finally the Waltz of the Flowers. The song was arranged by Chuck Bridwell; and it’s very festive and created to delight the lover of the Nutcracker Suite.

Mary, Did You Know?

As we are continuing to grasp about the early days of Christmas and know it was started, this song is more modern than some of the other songs for the season in the chorus. This piece was written by Buddy Greene and the lyrics were created by Mark Lowry. This debuted as a gospel piece by Michael English; an artist own for his Christian inspired music. It was when both Greene and Lowry were members of the Gaither Vocal Band in the early 1990s.

Other artists have used this piece such as Pentatonix and Jordan Smith. This sounds like a piece for artists to catch on, but there are a couple of points to explain. People have thought it lacks the scriptural or theological depth describing that Mary would not been asked about the birth of baby Jesus. The bible describes it more like Mary understood perfectly. Some others mention about this piece being a beautiful expression of the love of God. This song doesn’t have as much poetic license as some others; but the beat of 53 beats per minute have made this piece good for those who made it on top of the charts in the past.