Notre Dame College Wind Symphony Presents Free Holiday Concert Treats, Traditions

Notre Dame College is showcasing its innovative instrumental music programs with a free concert featuring timeless and timely holiday classics, from Twas the Night Before Christmas to Beware the Krampus.

The Notre Dame Wind Symphony Holiday Celebration from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday, December 9, in the Regina Auditorium on the college campus stars student woodwind, brass, string and percussion players in a variety of large and small ensembles performing traditional and popular seasonal selections. The symphony, under the conduction of Michael Krueger, M.M., Interim Director of Instrumental Studies and Adjunct Faculty in Composition and Music Theory at Notre Dame, also includes multiple alumni, staff and community members.

The celebration concert is free and open to the public. It brings to a close the fall semester of the College’s Joan Cronin Reagan #NDCPerforms Series.

In addition to a customary favorite like “The Ultimate Christmas Sing-along,” arranged by Jerry Brubaker with seasonal standards like Jingle Bells, Deck the Halls, Silent Night and We Wish You a Merry Christmas, the wind symphony holiday performance this season emphasizes two inventive works of Christmas music accompanied by narration.

“Twas the Night Before Christmas,” arranged by Jack Bullock presents Michael Martinek, M.Ed., Assistant Director of Performing Arts and Pep Band Instructor, reciting the traditional poem with the wind symphony interspersing vignettes from popular tunes. For example, “in hopes that Saint Nicholas soon will be there” is echoed by a snippet of the song “Jolly Old Saint Nicholas,” and when children are “nestled all snug in their beds,” the symphony plays a recognizable section of Tchaikovsky’s “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” from Nutcracker Suite.

A second, more modern selection mixing spoken word with winds and percussion casts Timothy Little, M.M., Executive Director of Performing Arts and Director of Choral Studies, as narrator of “A Christmas Tale (Beware the Krampus)” by Randall D. Standridge. This piece portrays the European legend of the naughty partner to the nice Santa Clause with eerily familiar but spooky instrumental renditions of well-known carols, including “Up on the Housetop,” sprinkled throughout. The fabled Krampus, also depicted in a 2015 Universal Pictures feature film, doles out the punishment, like lumps of coal, to bad boys and girls each Christmas.

The College’s Wind Symphony Celebration Concert also will highlight Notre Dame’s Drum Major Cortney Kovacs conducting “Concert Suite from the Polar Express,” also arranged by Jerry Brubaker, which is music from the Warner Brothers motion picture based on the best-selling children’s book “The Polar Express.”  Kovacs, who is drum major for the College marching band, actually works part-time with the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad Christmas-themed train ride seasonal attraction of the same name when she isn’t working toward her Notre Dame degree in biology.

Along with these popular pieces, the concert also presents spiritual selections. Martinek will guest conduct “A Christmas Festival,” a compilation of seasonal greetings from Leroy Anderson, which encompasses more conventional yet cheerful instrumental versions of hymns like “Joy to the World,” “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and “Adeste Fideles.”

Details on soloists and small ensembles for the holiday program are considered do not open until the celebration concert.

The Notre Dame Wind Symphony features nearly 50 performers on instruments ranging from flute, clarinet and saxophone to trumpet, trombone and tuba to pitched and non-pitched percussion. In addition to the Wind Symphony, the College’s Department of Instrumental Music is comprised of a marching band, pep band, chamber ensemble and new music ensemble.

November 2017


About Notre Dame College

For almost a century, Notre Dame College has educated a diverse population in the liberal arts for personal, professional and global responsibility. Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1922, the College has grown strategically to keep pace with the rapidly changing needs of students and the dramatic changes in higher education. But it has never lost sight of its emphasis on teaching students not only how to make a good living but also how to live a good life.

Today, the College offers bachelor’s degrees in 30 disciplines plus a variety of master's degrees, certification programs and continuing and professional development programs for adult learners on campus and online. Notre Dame College offers NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletic programs for men and women and is located in a picturesque residential neighborhood just 25 minutes from the heart of Cleveland. Hallmarks of the Notre Dame experience include stimulating academics, personalized attention of dedicated faculty and staff, and small class sizes.

Notre Dame College is located at 4545 College Road in South Euclid. For further information contact Brian Johnston, chief communications officer, at 216.373.5252 or


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