(With a little nod to C. Clement Moore)
By HOLLY BERETTO
‘Twas three weeks before Christmas and all through Jones Hall
Musicians were tuning – to bring to good cheer to all.
Two concerts upcoming filled with holiday song
Awaited the audiences, arriving ‘ere long.
First — from Lake Wobegone – came that wry raconteur
Garrison Keillor, never, ever a bore.
He told of his lake, he sang holiday lim’ricks
He spoofed on the Lutherans – had ‘em in stitches.
In a baritone rumbling, resonant, clear
He offered stories and songs for this time of year.
Mendelssohn, Holst, even Cole Porter
Carols and gospel were also in order.
The Symphony played, led by Maestro Brunelle,
Finely coaxing their sound from sweet into swell
Keillor told of his aunt in Song of the Exiles
Tenderly, gently, evoking both tears and smiles.
In his trademark red shoes, and a Christmas-red tie
Keillor was perfect – he’s one witty guy.
And praise to our Symphony, swelling behind him
Adding verve and depth to all Keillor’s whims.
And then came a fav’rite – Very Merry Pops
As Cole Porter would say – that was the tops
Conducted by Krajewski, accompanied by chorus,
It felt like a holiday gift just for us!
There were Christmassy classics arranged a la Valse,
A Hanukkah suite – and other great touches.
Surprises galore as the evening progressed
Even dear Santa appeared as a guest.
The chorus they sang, they sang – and they sang
Their voices with joy, like bright bells rang.
They sang We Three Kings, they sang about Rudolph
They sang Here Comes Santa Claus – with never a note off.
Pianist William Joseph gave a performance fantastic
“Piano Fantasy,” “Christmas Medley” were climatic.
Over the keys, his fingers they flew
Coaxing sounds joyous, gentle, seasonal, true.
There were dancers, too, both Asian and modern
Enhancing Silent Night and wondering as wandering
These were Dance of Asian America and Revolve
Who added color to the music and brought the house down.
What more could there be to this holiday show?
Well, of course a sing-along – don’t you know.
We sang White Christmas, We sang Silver Bells
We lifted our voices all through the halls.
We sang about Rudolph, that red-nosed reindeer
“I don’t want it to end,” commented one reveler.
But end, it sure did, as all good things do
Leaving great joy behind it for me and for you.
But you’ve still got one chance to hear all this ruckus
December 23 on KUHF, if you wanta.
The concert’s at 8 – mark your date book with care
Lively voices and music await you there.
But better than that, go see the orchestra live
Messiah is coming, opening this Fri.
Celebrate the season, with symphonic delight
Happy holidays to all — and to all a good night.
William Joseph on piano