Concord music school hosts annual, beloved holiday folk show
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For many people around Concord, it just isn’t Christmas until Susie Burke sings “Christmas in the Trenches” in her signature soprano, as clear and bright as a winter’s night, swirled through with the wood-smoke tones of David Surette’s guitar and the sparkle of Kent Allyn’s piano. The Concord Community Music School’s annual Holiday Folk Concert has become a tradition over the years, combining the talents of some of the area’s finest folk musicians and expertly blending seasonal songs from numerous styles and time periods.
“It’s the kind of music that just makes you smile,” said Peggy Senter, founder and president of the music school. “It’s a nice intimate venue too, and we love that.”
The only problem with that 150-seat venue is that tickets sell out fast. Luckily, there are still some left for Saturday evening’s concert, which will combine perennial favorites with a few fresh numbers.
“We always try to add some new stuff into it,” said Surette, who sings harmony and plays guitar, mandolin and other instruments in the concert. “Some of our new songs are Christmas songs, and we also have a few things that seemed like they just fit the flavor of the season.”
Several of the songs will come from their new holiday CD, which features old-timey favorites like “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” classical pieces such as “Bring a Torch, Jeanette Isabella” and fun fare such as “Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow.”
This year’s concert will also include the James Taylor favorite,
“The Secret O’ Life,” as well as a song from John Mayer’s new CD. And, of course, Burke will sing her beloved version of “Christmas in the Trenches,” one of the group’s favorite pieces to perform.
“It’s a very moving song about the Christmas truce that took place during World War I,” said Surette, who teaches guitar and mandolin at the music school and has built up the school’s folk music program.
“What I’m so proud of is David has really made us a place for folk music,” Senter said. “Over the years he’s been really proactive in bringing in great traditional music artists.”
Thanks to Surette’s efforts, the school has a new fiddle teacher this year and its annual Mandolin Festival draws people from all over the country and Canada.
“He and Susie have built up a great following. David’s such a well-known teacher at the school that he has legions who love him,” Senter said.
The concert takes place on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the music school’s recital hall. Tickets are $15 ($12 students/seniors) and can be purchased at 228-1196 or at ccmusicschool.org.
If you can’t make it to the concert or don’t grab a ticket in time, the group will also be playing at Del Rossi’s Trattoria in Dublin next Saturday at 8 p.m. Call 563-7195 for information.
The concert is also part of a busy week of holiday events for the music school. Today’s Bach’s Lunch Series, which takes place from 12:10 to 12:50 will feature the vocal trio Trillium singing “A Chorus of Hallejahs: Seasonal Selections and Singalong.” And the school’s children’s chorus, The Purple Finches, will perform at the Capitol Center for the Arts’ Twelve Days of Christmas show on Saturday at 1 and 4 p.m. For information and tickets, call 225-1111 or visit ccanh.com.