There are two kinds of people in the world: those who love holiday music and those who can’t stand it. I am passionately in the camp of those who love the stuff. That said, I don’t love all of it. There’s the saccharine, schmaltzy stuff that is over-produced that leaves me cold. Then there’s the jumpy, bumpy, goofy songs like “Dominic the Donkey” or “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas,” intended to make you smile but instead just make me turn off the radio.
But oh, when holiday music is good, it’s gooooood. Like Tran-Siberian Orchestra’s rendition of “Carol of the Bells,” with its exciting crescendo that builds to the soaring high notes. Or the slick harmonies and propulsive beats of basically anything on Pentatonix’s Christmas albums. And locally, I am always touched, moved, energized and entertained by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s holiday offerings. Their annual performance of the perennial classic Handel’s Messiah is true to the composer’s original intent: Edward Polochick conducts it from behind the harpsichord – which he plays while conducting! Talk about multi-tasking!
There’s was BSO’s annual visual feast of gorgeous acrobats and aerialists flying over the Orchestra in Nutcracker Cirque as the BSO serenades their cirque artistry with Tchaikovsky’s greatest hit. And Baltimore gets a real treat when CeCe Winans – Gospel music’s best-selling and most-awarded female artist – performs a Gospel Christmas (December 19th and 20th) supported by the powerful voices from Morgan State University Choir.
And finally, I’m particularly excited for this year’s Holiday Spectacular (December 21st). That’s the annual event with the tap-dancing Santas and a carol sing-a-long with the Baltimore Choral Arts Society. This year’s program delivers a love note to local Baltimoreans in the form of a new song: “34th Street,” about Hampden’s most festive street, composed by BSO bass player Jonathan Jensen. Singers from Baltimore Choral Arts Society will perform it, alongside popular American Idol contestant and winsome local dude Jeremiah Harmon. He’s the guy whose singing Elton John said, “took my breath away.” He’s that good.
So there’s no reason to suffer through bad holiday music this season. Or any time of the year. The BSO serves up great music to suit any taste all year long. Now please excuse me, “Dominic the Donkey” just came on the radio and I need to turn it off before my ears explode.
Adam Romanik is the owner of Computer Solutions for Less, an IT consulting business. Adam has over 15 years experience working in the both the IT industry and libraries and has worked as an adjunct instructor at several educational institutions. Adam earned both a Bachelors & Masters degree in Library Science from Clarion University, has earned 24 graduate credits towards a second masters degree in Information Systems and is an MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer).
Adam Romanik is also the president and founder of the Keystone State Gay Rodeo Association. He actively competes both on the International Gay Rodeo Association Circuit as well as locally in the mid-atlantic region.
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