The young boy behind me had just celebrated his 10th birthday the day before and Mom and Dad took him to the ultra-entertaining holiday concert: A Family Christmas by The Choral Arts Society at The Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall, and what a fantastic Yuletide gift he received yesterday afternoon! He got to dance the “Rudolph Pokey” [He put his right hoof in and then his left hoof out … ) with his Dad as a group of adorable kids dressed in their ‘holiday red and green best’ lead everyone in this very fun and popular dance.
Artistic Director Scott Tucker served as conductor and narrator and his elf-in-crime Conductor Brandon Straub served as pianist and occasional narrator and ‘straight-man’ [the man likes Figgy Pudding-here’s a recipe]. They both succeeded on getting the the youngest audience members and their parents to get up and do the ‘twist’ during “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”Tucker encouraged everyone to “Keep wigglin’!”
Next he split the audience into groups and assigned them different “solos’ while going through all “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Mothers and daughters sang one and so did fathers and sons, the left side of the hall and the right side of the hall, and even the band and the balcony had their ‘moment in the sun.” it was a blast because Scott put the audience through a real workout and they loved it and the “sections’ were terrific!
A young, well-dressed teen was chosen from the audience to come up and conduct the orchestra in “Joy to the World.” And even the Grinch paid a very ‘unpopular’ visit and so did Rudolph with a very illuminated red nose and of course there was Santa Claus. There were boos from the kids for the Green Grinch and lots of cheers for Santa and his favorite reindeer. The small and very excited boy in front of me, who was being held by his Dad, couldn’t stop waving at Santa. Watching the faces and reactions of his parents laughing and the dozens of adorable children smiling and applauding – was priceless and adorable.
Even electric-guitarist Michael Bard was rockin’ out at the end of “Jingle Bells’ and had to be calmed down by Scott Tucker. It was hilarious and the kids ate it up!
And let’s not forget this wonderful group of singers who make up the extraordinary Choral Arts Chorus. The beautiful blending of voices rang out during “We Wish You a Merry Christmas: and “Joy to the World,” and “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” as they were having as much fun as the kids and adults.
As the concert ended with holiday favorites ‘Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Frosty The Snowman” – out came Frosty himself and Rudolph and Santa and The Grinch who was, Scott Tucker told, “All is Forgive” to the rousing applause of the delighted audience of all ages who had just received this festive present.
This spirit of Christmas and the holiday season was upon everyone as families left hand-in-hand. I’ll be back again for next year’s A Family Christmas.
The Choral Arts Society of Washington Presents: A Family Christmas played for one performance only on Saturday, December 20, 2014 at 1 pm at The Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall – 2700 F Street, in Washington, DC. For information on The Choral Arts Society’s 2014-2015 season, go to their website. For future Kennedy Center events, go to their calendar of events.