A festive holiday mood, the sound of holiday music, the aroma of homemade cookies, and hundreds of people filled the Effingham County Recreation and Parks Department gymnasium Dec. 7 at Effingham Community Orchestra’s eighth annual holiday concert and homemade cookie sale.
Included in the orchestra’s performance were medleys of traditional carols, popular holiday songs, and selections from holiday movie scores. The orchestra’s jazz ensemble played an energetic set including “White Christmas,” “Feliz Navidad” and “Santa Baby.” The audience erupted in spontaneous applause for several soloists during the jazz ensemble’s performance.
For the first time, the program included an audience sing-along and a vocal ensemble of orchestra musicians singing four-part harmony with the orchestra’s instrumental accompaniment. Both these new additions were crowd-pleasers. The audience participated enthusiastically in the sing-along and gave the vocal ensemble a rousing applause.
At the conclusion of the concert, the audience rewarded the orchestra with a standing ovation and calls for an encore.
The homemade cookie sale immediately followed the concert with a large variety of cookies from which to choose. The cookies were baked by the musicians’ families and volunteers and were sold for $5 per baker’s dozen.
“What an exciting day for Effingham Community Orchestra,” said director Andrea Huff. “It was very rewarding for our orchestra musicians and for me to have such a large audience enjoy and express appreciation for our music with enthusiastic applause. It was wonderful to see our attendees socializing and having fun as they selected their cookies. We thank everyone who chose to spend the afternoon with us.”
Effingham Community Orchestra is a non-profit, 501(c)3 tax-deductible organization dependent totally upon sponsors, donations and fundraisers. They bring free concerts to the community.
The orchestra will resume rehearsals in January and will be accepting additional adult and high school student musicians. Additional information is available on the Web site www.effinghamcommunityorchestra.org.