Concert at New Britain's South Church is a 12th-day-of-Christmas gift

Published on Sunday, 5 January 2020 21:51
Written by Erica Drzewiecki


NEW BRITAIN - Well over 100 people held on to the holidays a little longer at South Church Sunday afternoon.

The New Britain Symphony’s annual Brass Quintet and Pipe Organ Concert was very well attended, despite having been rescheduled due to a Dec. 1 snowstorm.

Visitors enjoyed Christmas music 10 days after the holiday with all the spirit they had.

“It’s the 12th day of Christmas, after all,” NBSO Board President Cynthia Carlson pointed out, wearing a red sweater dotted with festive wreaths.

Conductor Toshiyuki Shimada sat in the audience, for a change, as his symphony’s brass musicians and pipe organist performed.

“I just returned from Europe,” he said. “I couldn’t miss this opportunity to relax and enjoy our wonderful musicians in a more intimate setting.”

South Church’s pastor, the Rev. Jane Roe, was delighted to have a full church for the concert.

“What a wonderful, large crowd,” she said. “This is a great way to celebrate the end of the Christmas season together.”

Organist Floyd Higgins had the opportunity to play on a different organ than the one he’s accustomed to for this event, which formerly took place at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on West Main Street. That church closed last year.

“This is the first year it’s been at this church, which is great because it offers a different sound,” Higgins said, adding, “It’s a long-established tradition to have this musical program around the holidays. This is my sixth or seventh year with the New Britain Symphony.”

Husband and wife Chuck and Terry Paprzyca came from their home in Hebron.

“We love live music,” Terry said. “We check out the paper all the time to see what’s going on. They’re still celebrating Christmas today, too, which is nice.”

Listeners heard classics like “O, Come all Ye Faithful” and “Carol of the Bells” as well as special selections including “Go Tell it on the Mountain” and “The Festive Sounds of Hanukkah.”

“We’re actually finding we had a larger response than before our originally scheduled date of Dec. 1,” NBSO Executive Director Mary-Ann Burns said. “People want one last celebration before they pack up their holiday cheer.”

Coming up later on this year are the NBSO’s free mini-concerts, including its Vocal, Piano and Harp Trio at the Plainville Public Library Feb. 12 and the Movie Brass Quintet at the New Britain Public Library March 11.

The large main-stage concert at Central Connecticut State University, “A Salute to Mothers,” is set for May 9.

A full schedule is available at

Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at 860-801-5097 or

Posted in New Britain Herald, , New Britain on Sunday, 5 January 2020 21:51. Updated: Sunday, 5 January 2020 21:54.