Brass Band BlechKLANG from Jena (Germany), has been providing plenty of festive musical cheer this year with a series of themed concerts.
'Brass meets Organ', 'Fairytales at Christmas' and its 'Children's Brass Christmas' saw the players perform to packed audiences as they visited venues in Bad Langensalza, Sommerda, Jena, Chemnitz and Frauenprienitz.
The initiative comes under the collective banner term 'Jenaer Blaserweihnacht' (Jena Brass Christmas) with the three different formats aimed at specific audiences.
'Brass meets Organ' is a chamber music event and was performed at three Church concerts comprising a small ensemble of 11 players under the direction of MD, Patricio Cosentino. Various works by Vivaldi and Bach as well as international and national Christmas carols were played in virtuoso arrangements.
The cantor of the Querfurt community, Mira Cieslak, performed on the organ, with the MD Patricio Cosentino telling 4BR: "The organisation of this special event is a great pleasure for me every year. The music suits the venues perfectly."
The second series of concerts performances were entitled, 'Fairytales at Christmas' and saw the full band perform in three venues with music specifically aimed at children and their families.
The programmes included music from 'The Polar Express', Tchaikovsky's 'Nutcracker' and Humperdinck's 'Hansel & Gretal', as well a soothing repertoire from Eric Whitacre and the closing with Eric Ball's 'Kingdom Triumphant'.
Patricio added; "This musical fairy tale book delighted young and old and with added carols it was the perfect mix for the advent mood."
The grand finale was the special 'Children's Brass Christmas' where over 1,300 children from 47 kindergartens in Jena and the surrounding area enjoyed a special performance of 'Hansel and Gretel'.
Joined by actress Mona Vojacek Koper from the Theater of Jena as the narrator, the audience was transported through the fairy tale accompanied by Humperdinck's music and well known carols played by a band ensemble.
All the audiences were so enthusiastic — and final concert was such an emotional occasion with over 1300 children spellbound by the story and the playing!Alexander Richter
Alexander Richter, Artistic Director of BlechKLANG, told 4BR: "It was a wonderful way to round off a busy period when we were able to perform concerts of different types to showcase what a brass band can accomplish.
All the audiences were so enthusiastic — and final concert was such an emotional occasion with over 1300 children spellbound by the story and the playing!"
In response to the event, Dr. Ulrich Richter, Chairman of the BMVCZJ who oversee the kindergarten organisations in the region told 4BR: "I am very proud that the Children's Brass Christmas has developed into what is probably the largest concert event for preschool children!"