Christmas Music — Live

Tonight I braved the streets and highways to attend a concert by the Symphony. The temp got up to 33 or 34 today so the street crews had the highways and the main streets in the city (otherwise known as snow routes) pretty clear. What they totally missed was the street which runs next to the Symphony hall. That was as icy as a skating rink and several of us slipped and slid as we tried to get across it. Fortunately for me, some helpful folks came to the concert tonight and were glad to help me get across the street. My cane wasn’t much help. What I really needed was one of those poles with a spike on the end like you use on glaciers. Oddly enough, the parking lot was in better shape than the sidewalk.

The concert must have been close to sold out. There were two empty seats in front of me and I’d guess they were sold to two people who were frightened off by the weather. I have never seen so many people who took their seats late. There were three different groups of them; the first was after the first number, the second after the next one and the last group after the third one. I was so thankful I had managed to get there in time to be seated before the concert started.

The Mannheim Steamroller music is pretty well known by most folks who listen to the radio. The group has come up with a new format — an orchestral one — and we listened to the premiere of it tonight. I don’t know why they selected the St. Louis Symphony to play the premiere of their new program/format but they made a wise choice. I do believe our musicians can play anything you throw at them.

The arrangements were in familiar Mannheim Steamroller form, just orchestrated for a full orchestra. It was great fun to listen to but I did have to wonder how the trumpets were able to play the “Glor-o–o-ria in excelses deo” on one long breath. I’ve sung that in various choirs and know how hard it is to sing. I should think it would be even more difficult to play on a wind instrument. But they did it well.

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