TubaJohn Christmas with Friends welcomed a capacity crowd at St. John United Church this week.
Admission was by donation to the Salvation Army Christmas Cheer fund.
The performers were Quintet Plus directed by Jessie Chapin, the Cariboo Men’s Choir conducted by Carl Johnson and Cariboo Brass co-ordinated and directed by John Sykes and Rocco Catalano.
Quintet Plus was first on the program, performing tunes from a wide time-span and range of styles, including Huron Carol and Banquet Fugue.
The tunes ranged from traditional to modern and from melodic to whimsical.
The audience enjoyed traditional Christmas carols by the Cariboo Men’s Choir, as well as more modern pieces like Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah and a version of Snows of New York arranged by Cariboo Men’s Choir conductor Carl Johnson and his daughter.
Johnson told the crowd that he was taking a unique step into modern technology by recording the song for his two daughters live on iPhone.
The two vocal groups joined forces for a rousing rendition of Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus directed by Chapin, and various audience members came to the stage to sing along.
Cariboo Brass brought a rollicking energy to the stage, performing lively seasonal favourites that included hi-jinks in the tuba section and flying hats and mittens.
Some of the songs were arranged by Rocco Catalano and John Sykes, and all their selections were characterized by skill, humour, great dynamics and great entertainment value.
The evening concluded with all three performing groups joined by the audience singing Christmas carols, directed by Carl Johnson.
John Sykes thanked the crowd for coming and the performers for participating. “Thank you to all you guys who came here and filled this place up,” he said. “A huge thank you to all these talented performers—I love this.”