Every December, St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Endicott hosts a classical Christmas music concert. This year (Dec. 5) it featured music of the German masters, performed by the Broome Community College Choir, with members of the Binghamton Philharmonic and community singers.
Selections from Schubert, Schumann and Brahms were performed with Schubert’s “Mass in E-flat Major” featured in the second portion of the program. All was done under the direction of Gerald Grahame. Soloists were Brenda Dawe, Melisse Weber, Kirk Dougherty, William Roberts and Joseph Brainard, several of whom were or are affiliated with Tri-Cities Opera.
The music was angelic and made for a great afternoon to relax and just listen in a church building that is well noted for its defined acoustics. The selections were unique and not something that I recognized (we aren’t talking “Jingle Bells” here); however, they were very well done, and the ensemble received a standing ovation at the end of the two-hour concert. I make it a point to attend this each year and have yet to be disappointed in the performances. Someday we will look back upon and just be astonished at the talent that was present right in our neighborhood on a wintry Sunday afternoon.
The Rafael Grigorian Ballet Theatre danced the holiday classic “The Russian Nutcracker” Sunday afternoon (Dec. 5) at The Forum in Binghamton. Outside, the weather blustered and snowed, but, inside, everything really was beautiful at the ballet. Exquisite costumes, pretty sets, adorable children, gorgeous ballerinas. And what’s the word for strong, handsome leading men in ballet? Ballerfellas? Here in the age of irony, cynicism and sarcasm, lovely gets a bad rap — disdained as sentimental, sticky sweet and somehow insincere. But there was a peaceful healing power to this lovely production, reflecting the passion and dedication of everyone involved. In the words of one non-dancing cast member afterwards, “Oh, what a feast!” And she glowed as she opened her arms to embrace the idea of beauty.