‘Tis the Season for Music

The Sea Notes Choral Society will perform their holiday show, 'Christmas Gifts,' three times in December. Courtesy photo

The Sea Notes Choral Society will perform their holiday show, ‘Christmas Gifts,’ three times in December. Courtesy photo

The tradition of music for the holidays continues in Brunswick County with the Sea Notes Choral Society and the Brunswick Concert Band. These two volunteer groups comprised of local, dedicated and talented members of the community will once again provide musical entertainment and warm holiday memories for all.

Sea Notes Choral Society
Thurs., Dec. 5th • 7:30 p.m.
Fri., Dec. 6th • 7:30 p.m.
Sun, Dec. 8th • 3 p.m.
Hatch Auditorium, NC Baptist Assembly at Fort Caswell • 100 Caswell Beach Rd.
Free, but donations accepted

The Sea Notes Choral Society has been providing entertainment as a community chorus to audiences in Brunswick County for 38 years. The group consists of over 150 volunteer singers from Brunswick and some neighboring counties. In 1995 the society adopted the “one director, one concert” style of directing, giving members of the group the opportunity to share their various experiences and talents as leaders.

This year’s Christmas concert is dubbed “Christmas Gifts,” and it will be directed by Susan Linton. Linton’s first directorial debut for the Sea Notes was the July 4th concert in 2010. She has been singing with the Sea Notes for five years; she became involved shortly after moving to Southport.

Linton grew up in Ohio and graduated from DePauw University in Indiana with a Bachelor of Music degree in keyboard performance and music education. She taught elementary general music, high school chorus and orchestra, and accompanied many high school and community musicals. Currently Linton is the organist for the St. James Chapel and serves as a substitute organist for area churches.

“I can have the experience of singing in the chorus, accompanying on the piano, or directing an entire concert,” Linton describes of her enjoyable duties with the Sea Notes. “Each role comes with its own challenges, but each offers many, many rewards.”

When she’s filling the shoes as director, Linton’s goal is to make the appropriate music for the group “come alive with dynamics, phrasing, diction and an emotional connection to the chorus,” she urges.

“Christmas Gifts,” Linton tells us, provides many holiday topics to cover. “We sing about the gifts of love, peace, family and friends,” she details. “Our music features the carols that create a musical image of nativity, that echo the hope of all for peace on earth and peace in our hearts, and that express the joy of sharing the holiday with family and friends.”

Joining Linton and the dedicated members of the chorus, accompanist Jane Boberg will take to the keys. George Boberg will perform on percussion, while Julie Sloupe will provide the flute and Tom Smicklas will entertain on the clarinet.

All performances are free to the public. Sea Notes Choral Society is a non-profit organization. “Friends of the Sea Notes”  is a major source of fundraising, which has grown to over 400 members. Individual and corporate matching gifts may be tax-deductible.

Brunswick Concert Band
Sat., Dec. 14th • 7:30 p.m.
Hatch Auditorium, NC Baptist Assembly
at Fort Caswell, 100 Caswell Beach Rd.
Sun, Dec. 15th • 3 p.m.
Odell Williamson Auditorium
150 College Rd. NE, Bolivia
Free, but donations accepted

This holiday season’s Brunswick Concert Band performance, “The Magical Music of Christmas,” will be conducted by Frank Mahoney and co-conducted by long-time band member and past band board president, George Boberg.

Mahoney has been with the Brunswick Concert Band, playing trumpet, for nine years. He was a music major at the University of Southern Mississippi and taught band and chorus in the schools before entering a career in financial services. While this will be his debut conducting the Brunswick Concert Band for a performance,  Mahoney has been involved with and directed the Brunswick Big Band (the concert band’s sister organization). After retiring to the area, Mahoney’s musical career became an “evocation rather than an avocation,” and the result is “more fun the second time around,” he concedes.

Mahoney likens the experience of conducting the band to coaching: “There is always an element of anxiety…you always hope and assume that you and your performers will do a good job.”

The Brunswick Concert Band started rehearsals for the holiday show in September, and the final roster will include about 55 band members. This is the third year the Brunswick Concert Band will be joined by the voices of the Brunswick Little Theatre ensemble chorus under the direction of Debbie Skillman.

The concert is free, and keeping with tradition, donations will be accepted of non perishable food items to be collected for the Southport- Oak Island Food Bank.

2 Responses to ‘Tis the Season for Music

  1. Polly Stimmel says:

    Thanks for this informative article and your support of concerts.

    • admin says:

      It’s our pleasure! Though, we may be partial—I was in a vocal jazz ensemble in high school. 😉 Thanks, Polly!

      —Bethany Turner, editor

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