The Parkway Chorale Holiday Concerts 2014
Wednesday, December 17 and Friday, December 19, at Noon
Welcome by Matt Downey:
- Season's greetings, and welcome to the Parkway Chorale's
annual Holiday Concert!
- I'm Matthew Downey, Director and Conductor, and this is
Paul Nahay, our Music Director and Accompanist.
- We appreciate your taking time out of your busy day to
help make the holidays a little bit more festive here.
- The Chorale is pleased to be joined by the Parkway Brass,
whom you just heard perform, the Parkway Chorale Orchestra,
and the Parkway Chorale Rock Band.
- The Chorale is open to everyone here at NSA, CSS, and
USCYBERCOM, and we're always looking for new singers and
instrumentalists to join us.
- If you are interested, just type "go chorale" in your
browser for more information.
- Here now is Parkway Chorale soprano Dr. Taralee Mecham,
who will be introducing our musical selections.
1. "Fum, Fum, Fum" (conducted by Paul)
- "Fum, Fum, Fum" is a traditional Catalan Christmas carol,
thought to have originated in the 16th or 17th century.
- The word "fum" means "smoke" in Catalan, and may refer to
smoke rising from wintry chimneys, or may imitate the sound
of a drum, or the strumming of a guitar, or the rocking of a
- The song's rhythms come from the Sardana, a courtly dance
which originated in Catalonia and the Provence.
- The English version we will perform is the original
choral arrangement, based on the traditional Catalan carol,
created in 1953 by Alice Parker and Robert Shaw, which
popularized the carol in the U.S. and other English-speaking
- There are several other versions in English as well.
- Here now is "Fum, Fum, Fum", accompanied by Mr. Dennis
Bartko on percussion, and conducted by Dr. Paul Nahay.
2. "Jingle Bell Rock" (conducted by Matt)
- "Jingle Bell Rock" was first released in 1958 by singer
Bobby Helms, who recorded the best-known version of this
- It was composed by Atlantic City resident Joseph Beal,
and Texas advertising man James Boothe.
- The song makes brief reference to other popular songs of
the 1950s, including "Jingle Bells" and "Rock Around the
- Despite being titled Jingle Bell "Rock", Helms' version
of the song was actually performed in the crossover style
known as rockabilly, which combines Western and rock 'n roll
- Joining us today is the Parkway Chorale Rock Band, which
features Friedman Auditorium's own Randy Powers on electric
guitar, and Dennis Bartko on digital drums.
- Here now is "Jingle Bell Rock", conducted by Matthew
3. "White Christmas" (Parkway Chorale Barbershop
NOTE: The Chorale walks off stage during this introduction,
as the PCBQ dons costumes and props and gets in place.
- The Parkway Chorale Barbershop Quartet is the Chorale's
"outreach ambassador" at Big 4 retirement parties, birthday
parties, and the like, presenting our so-called
"Parkwaygrams" for the guest of honor.
- Organized by, and often performing parodies written by,
Mr. Russ Fish, they welcome requests to perform at such
- The donations received for these performances help to
fund the purchase of sheet music, our digital piano, and the
sound system we are performing with today.
- The ranks of the Quartet have doubled in order to bring
you a barbershop quartet arrangement of Irving Berlin's
- According to the Guinness World Records, the version sung
by Bing Crosby is the best-selling single of all time.
- Accounts vary as to when and where Berlin wrote the song,
one claiming that he wrote it in 1940, while staying at the
La Quinta Hotel in California, a frequent retreat for
- Berlin often stayed up all night writing, and upon
completing "White Christmas" purportedly told his secretary,
"Grab your pen and take down this song. I just wrote the best
song I've ever written. Heck, I just wrote the best song that
anybody's ever written!"
- Well, we can't argue with that, so here now is the
extended Parkway Chorale Barbershop Quartet performing Irving
Berlin's "White Christmas".
4. "Feliz Navidad" (Parkway Brass)
- "Feliz Navidad" was written, recorded, and released in
1970 by the Puerto Rican singer-songwriter José
- With its simple Spanish chorus of the traditional holiday
greeting "Merry Christmas, a prosperous year and happiness",
as well as its equally simple English verse, it has become a
classic Christmas pop song throughout the world.
- Feliciano's version is one of the most downloaded and
aired Christmas songs in the United States and Canada.
- The American Society of Composers, Authors, and
Publishers has recognized the song as one of the top 25 most
played and recorded Christmas songs of all time.
- Mr. Ed Justice, Director of the Parkway Brass, arranged
the song for brass and percussion, and this is the version
they will perform for us now.
- Here now is the Parkway Brass, performing "Feliz
5. "Do You Hear What I Hear?" (conducted by Sandy)
NOTE: The Chorale returns to the stage during this
- "Do You Hear What I Hear?" is a Christmas song written in
October 1962, with lyrics by Noel Regney and music by Gloria
- The pair, married at the time, wrote it as a plea for
peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
- Interestingly, the music-writing and lyric-writing roles
of the couple were reversed for this song, from what was
- Regney was inspired to write the lyrics after watching
babies being pushed in strollers on the sidewalks of New York
- Shayne stated in an interview years later that neither
could personally perform the entire song at the time they
wrote it because of the emotions surrounding the Cuban
Missile Crisis, saying "Our little song broke us up. You must
realize there was a threat of nuclear war at the time."
- The song describes how word of the birth of Jesus is
relayed to higher upon ever higher authority, from "night
wind" to "small lamb" to "shepherd boy" to "mighty king", who
eventually spreads the message to the "people
- In each verse, the message is slightly modified, in a
fashion similar to the game of Telephone.
- The song has sold tens of millions of copies and has been
covered by hundreds of artists.
- We are pleased to introduce the Parkway Chorale
Orchestra, who will accompany us.
- Here now is "Do You Hear What I Hear?", conducted by Ms.
6. "SIGINT Wonderland" (conducted by Matt)
- On December 23, 2013, NSADaily carried a link to a
SIDtoday holiday wish from the SIDtoday editor, Ms. Susan
- Posted on the SIDtoday site were song lyrics titled
"SIGINT Wonderland", which was a parody of the lyrics to the
song "Winter Wonderland".
- These parody lyrics turned out to have been the creation
of Ms. Shelby herself.
- Our own Dr. Paul Nahay tweaked these lyrics a bit, and
made a musical arrangement of them specially for the Parkway
- The result was premiered by the Chorale at the Advent
Luncheon which took place here earlier this month.
- Here now is "SIGINT Wonderland", with lyrics by Sue
Shelby, as arranged by Paul Nahay, and accompanied by the
Parkway Chorale Rock Band.
7. "Christmas Canon Rock" (conducted by Paul)
- The Trans-Siberian Orchestra's 1998 album, "The Christmas
Attic", contained a track titled "Christmas Canon".
- This song was an adaptation of the famous, so-called
- German Baroque composer Johann Pachelbel's work was
actually titled "Canon and Gigue for 3 violins and basso
- It was composed in the late 17th century, included a
second movement, and was subsequently forgotten for over 200
years until it was first published in 1919, becoming popular
only decades after that.
- TSO released a rock version of their "Christmas Canon"
song, which they titled "Christmas Canon Rock", on their 2004
album "The Lost Christmas Eve".
- As of 2010, this song was the third best-selling holiday
song in digital download history.
- As there is no existing arrangement of this for chorus,
Paul Nahay created the arrangement we are about to
- In his arrangement, much of Pachelbel's original string
writing is reinstated, where such lines do not exist at all
in either of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's recordings.
- Here now is "Christmas Canon Rock", by the Trans-Siberian
Orchestra, as transcribed, arranged, and conducted by Paul
Nahay. Joining us is the Parkway Chorale Orchestra, featuring
electric guitarist Randy Powers, who was the person who first
suggested that we perform this piece!
8. "Sleigh Ride" (conducted by Paul)
- "Sleigh Ride" is a light orchestral piece composed by
American composer Leroy Anderson.
- He got the idea for the piece during a heat wave in July
1946, and finished it nineteen months later.
- This original orchestral version was first recorded in
1949 by Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra.
- In 1950, Mitchell Parish set lyrics to the tune.
- Although "Sleigh Ride" is often associated with
Christmas, the lyrics never specifically name any holiday or
- In fact, the mention of "pumpkin pie" in the last verse
might suggest an association with Thanksgiving rather than
- Leroy Anderson's biographer writes that "'Sleigh Ride'"
... has been performed and recorded by a wider array of
musical artists than any other piece in the history of
- Joining us will be the Parkway Chorale Orchestra, playing
an arrangement of the choral accompaniment as created by Dr.
- Here now is Leroy Anderson's "Sleigh Ride".
9. "Worthy is the Lamb" (conducted by Matt)
- We conclude our performance today with the final section
from George Frideric Handel's oratorio "Messiah", composed in
- In 2011, 12, and 13, we ended our Holiday Concerts with
the three most-performed choruses from "Messiah": "For Unto
Us a Child is Born", "And the Glory of the Lord", and the
- Whereas the "Hallelujah" chorus ends Part 2 of "Messiah",
we will here present the finale to Part 3.
- This finale includes the chorus "Worthy is the Lamb" and
the great "Amen" chorus.
- Even in the 18th century, the comparison between this
finale, and the more widely-known "Hallelujah" chorus, was
- Handel's first biographer said it best, when he wrote in
1760 that this finale revealed the composer "rising still
higher" than in "that vast effort of genius, the Hallelujah
- We thank you once again for coming out today.
- We also want to thank all our guest instrumentalists,
Dave Emmons of Friedman Auditorium, as well as our new Sound
Technician, Mr. Jeffrey Klein.
- We leave you today with the final choruses, "Worth is the
Lamb" and "Amen", from Handel's "Messiah".
- Joining us are the Parkway Brass and the Parkway Chorale
Orchestra, conducted by Matthew Downey.