Come Home for the Holidays, December 5th
It always feels a little strange to me to be thinking about Christmas in July. I mean, I certainly appreciate all of the planning that goes into mounting a beautiful holiday season, and I am sure I'm not the only one who is asked to create magical plans for December in the middle of one of the sunniest, warmest months of the year. But that's generally how it goes. I think about what I'd like to do with this ever-popular, annual musical tradition and begin to make plans while people are headed to the beach, off on a road trip, mowing their lawns, and sitting by the pool.
I actually love programming our Home for the Holidays concert. I enjoy just about everything about the season (minus the crowds and the mad dash to the mall.) It's fun to imagine how a concert might come together, and I almost always start with the things I know our audience will want: recognizable, familiar, sing-along holiday hits that will transport them from the chaos of shopping. For a few hours, my job is to remind you of the wonderful memories you have of your own family's traditions, and there is a soundtrack to go along with those memories that we can happily provide.
In fact, the more I think about it, the easier it gets for me to program the Home for the Holidays concert, since we have such a wealth of talent in Erie and so much material from which to draw. I am always happy to reunite with the voices of the Erie Philharmonic Chorus and the Young People's Chorus of Erie, and this year, I am very excited to work with local star tenor Daniel Cabanillas for the very first time. He has such a wonderful personal story, and the music he will sing with us includes songs he has been singing since he was a boy. His talent is special, and I know you will love his voice. You will also hear some charming pieces that may not be familiar - the soundtrack to Polar Express provides a 'new classic', and the Reindeer Variations by my friend Lucas Richman are smart and charming. Just imagine Santa's Reindeer vying for your attention by prancing to their own, unique dance.
So cue the snowflakes, don the red sweaters, and settle in for what should be another wonderful Home for the Holidays concert. Come next July, I'll grab a fresh legal pad and a pencil, jot down some new and old ideas, and I'll think of all the families who joined us at the Warner to celebrate the season. I might even head to the beach with visions of sugarplums dancing in my head. I wouldn't have it any other way!
~ Daniel Meyer