Midwestern celebrates holidays with upcoming Arizona Winds concert

‘Christmas Impressions’ coming to Glendale campus


Midwestern University and the Arizona Winds will collaborate for a 16th consecutive year to present the annual Christmas concert 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8 in the 2,600-seat main auditorium on the Glendale campus, 19555 N. 59th Ave.

“We really enjoy hosting The Arizona Winds,” Kathleen H. Goeppinger, Midwestern president and chief executive officer stated. “They provide such a welcoming community event for the holidays and that makes our partnership special because Midwestern is very focused on community service.”

The Arizona Winds’ program, this year titled “Christmas Impressions,” will feature Christmas and Hanukkah themes from the familiar to the unique. Selections will include traditional favorites, some new surprises, a Christmas Carol sing-along and a special young guest conductor selected from the audience.

“Having programmed Christmas concerts for well over 40 years now, it can be quite challenging to find new and exciting arrangements to the many Christmas tunes everyone is so familiar with,” stated the band’s music director and conductor Rich Shelton. “I’m always looking for those unique works that can inspire or bring a collective smile to our audience. I’m quite confident we’ve done it again this year.

“Our Jewish friends celebrate Hanukkah during the Christmas season, so I thought it only fitting to feature a couple of familiar, yet unique arrangements for this occasion including Dreidel Dance and Eighth Candle.”

Colonel Shelton has programmed a piece titled “Bassoon It Will Be Christmas” featuring three soloists on the bassoon. The piece weaves familiar Christmas carols into a mix using themes from “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” Mozart’s “Overture to the Marriage of Figaro,” Berlioz’ “March to the Scaffold,” “Figaro” and Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 4.”

Other selections will include a medley of Christmas tunes set in the jazz style called Swinging Santa Claus, a hoe-down called Country Cookin’ Christmas, themes from two Christmas-related motion pictures, “A Christmas Carol” and “Home Alone,” and an opener entitled “A Christmas Overture” by composer Nigel Hess.

Admission is free and open to the public.

Visit azwinds.com.