Music Express Performs six shows at Villanova
December 8, 1999
By Angela Sorge
The spirit of Christmas, the birth of Christ and the art of giving, was celebrated this weekend at the Villanova Festival Theatre with Music Express, a Canadian show band.
The musical group, which was founded in 1974 by Ernie Gerenda, now director of the Villanova Festival Theatre, put on six concert performances last week of “The Call of Christmas.”
On Saturday afternoon’s performance, the band put on a two hour show filled with Christmas tunes, including Little Drummer Boy, I’ll Be Home For Christmas and It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.
Providing a back drop to the sounds of Music Express, The Celebration Players, made up of Villanova students, dramatized the performances as they dressed up as characters such as Mary and Joseph.
Gerenda, who also conducted the concert, said the concert was its sixth running at the Villanova Festival Theatre. The band is a non-profit organization that has played for many benefit concerts. The members, who are from LaSalle, Windsor and the surrounding area, play many styles of music said Gerenda, including, “rock, gospel, jazz and Christmas music.” To add to the spirit of Christmas, Music Express brought along a special friend with them, who almost missed the show.
Santa Claus was held up because of two “shopaholic reindeers on the loose with charge cards.” They were spotted at Leone’s Music World and Sears, sponsors of the show, said Santa in an e-mail message that was read to the audience. But a desperate plea and a little song from Music Express and the audience brought Santa to stage before the end of the show.
In concluding the concert, audience members rose from their seats and joined Music Express in a community sing-a-long. The Parkview and McWilliam Public Schools choir also joined in the carolling of the First Noel, Joy to the World and Deck the Halls.
Catch Music Express with Mr. Dressup in a benefit concert for Save the Children Cnanda on Saturday, February 5, 2000 at the Villanova Festival Theatre. Ticktes can be ordered through the box office at 734-7671.