Holiday concert at Granby Library today highlights variety of musical styles | SkyHiNews.com

Holiday concert at Granby Library today highlights variety of musical styles

Cyndi Palmer
Sky-Hi Daily News

Courtesy photoThe public is invited to a free holiday concert at the Granby Library today, featuring the Middle Park High School Jazz Band, which includes Jared Brown, Chris Thompson, Mateo Jackson, Noah Ralph, Kyle Keller, Mason Jackson, and Eric Simondsen as their director.

With the holiday season in full swing, the sounds of Christmas songs have begun to fill the crisp Colorado air, and along with that tradition the Granby Library is hosting a unique evening of seasonal music by local student and professional musicians.

The free concert starts at 5:30 p.m. today in the library’s Community Room.

Kenya Marte will be opening the holiday concert with a performance on the bagpipes. She said her performance list usually varies, but that she expects she’ll be playing seasonal hits and songs like “Amazing Grace.” She’s also been working on a new song she might share today, but said it will depend on how her instrument is working, adding that African blackwoods are very temperamental.

A member of the Colorado Isle of Mull Highland Band, Marte has been playing the bagpipes for three years and says she just started doing gigs at the local libraries, of which she is an avid supporter. When asked if she’s excited for this show, she said she looks forward “to any time I get to play.”

The concert also includes performances by the Middle Park High School Jazz Band and Swing Choir, set to play and sing selected holiday favorites. Director for both is Eric Simondsen.

Members of the MPHS Jazz Band include Jared Brown, Chris Thompson, Mateo Jackson, Noah Ralph, Kyle Keller, and Mason Jackson.

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Swing Choir members are Quincey Pedersen, Sarah Gerberding, Colby Bull, Elisa Glavin, Ali Adamson, Hannah Heckerson, Shelby Mitchell, Jennifer Kerber, Montana Maurer, Simon Nicol, Zack Thorp, Eldon Oswald, and Rory Mulligan.

Another special highlight of the show is well-known jazz pianist Brad Pregeant, who will finish the evening with a variety of pieces on the piano.

The library had asked John Catt of the Grand County Blues Society if he knew of any musician who would be willing to volunteer their time and talent for the show.

“He thought of me, and I appreciated that,” said Pregeant, who had just become a new member of the GCBS. “I was more than happy to get involved.”

The local professional musician, who also teaches music privately, said he loves being involved with children.

“It’s inspiring to get around kids and hear them play,” he said, adding that he just recently attended a performance of the MPHS jazz band and swing choirs and told Director Simondsen how impressed he was with them.

Pregeant grew up near Bourbon Street in New Orleans and found his passion for music there. He went on to earn a degree in musical performance, has a bachelor of music degree in piano performance from Southeastern Louisiana University and can be found playing regularly throughout a variety of venues in Grand County.

For the Holiday Concert, he is planning to highlight several songs from his new CD “Christmas Time in New Orleans” which came out just last week (with help from guest artists Lynnea Godfriaux and Dan Shapera). Numbers from the album he’ll share with Monday’s audience include “O Tannenbaum,” “A Child is Born,” “The Christmas Song,” and “My Favorite Things.” Pregeant said he’ll also throw in a couple original ragtime pieces that people always seem to enjoy.

The program is free and open to the public. Call the Granby Library at (970) 887-2149 for more details.

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