This year it is a free concert sponsored by the Canadian Forces, Ron Hodgson and Landrex.
The show was MC’d by J’Lyn Nye from 630 CHED Radio here in Edmonton. In attendance were His Honour the Lieutenant Governor of the Province of Alberta Colonel (retired) Donald S Ethell and his wife her Honour Linda Ethell, in addition were the Commander of 3 Canadian Division and his RSM and the Deputy Commander of 3 Canadian Division Support Group and the Group RSM. There were also lots of people from all walks of life, serving soldiers, soldiers families and veterans and lovers of music from all over.
One of the first pieces, after the arrival of the Vice Regal party and such was Sleigh Ride which featured the 4 senior military audience members on various percussion instruments. Their talent was such that they receive some advice from the LG – “don’t quit your day jobs” 😉
This piece was followed by the Celtic group, from the RCA Band, called McSquinties. They played “Breton Carol” and “What Child is This” before turning the stage over to a scratch group doing a piece called “Rudolph the Nose” with some very witty banter going back and forth. This was followed by a clarinet/guitar duet of “We Three Kings” which was the bridge to allow the RCA Pipes and Drums to come on stage with their guests members of Edmonton and District Pipe Band. This was followed by Sgt Janine Bremault Bamford singing “A Grown Up Christmas” She has a very nice solo voice and continued on with another portion of the band the Rythym Gunners Orchestra in a “Here Come Santa Claus Medley”. This led to the last piece of the first half conducted by the Band Sergeant Major – an acknowledged fan of the Sound of Music – it was a medley from the Sound of Music.
The second half started with “A Holiday Medley” followed by words from the LG where he commented on the Senior Military members ability to play percussion along with praise for those who were present from the military, their families and the veterans in the audience.
RES were then up with our a cappella piece “Unclouded Day”. We followed this with Morten Lauridsen‘s “O Magnum Mysterium” which we sang a half tone up from our normal with the band. At the end J’lyn came out and said she had goose bumps and my wife in the audience heard murmurs from those around her of “oh yeah”. I take that to mean people liked it!
Gerald Eilander then came in to start up the Davis Organ for a sing along for everyone of “Hark The Herald Angels Sing“. J’lyn remarked about both Gerald and the organ after the piece.
Next up was a piece called “The Water is Wide” featuring Sgt Bremault Bamford, RES and starting of with a quinted of Pipers in the second balcony – stirring stuff at the beginning. This was followed up by the last piece of the evening “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” featuring the Richard Eaton Whoville Choir!
All in all a very fun, fulfilling night. The Charity Soldier on had a table out in the front at the end of the night – a good charity if you are looking for one!