Tune time: German Christmas concert slated for Saturday

November 29, 2018

The RGV German Club’s inaugural Weihnachtskonzert, or Christmas concert, attracted so many people last year that organizers had to find a bigger venue.

This year’s German-themed musical event is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 1, at 6 p.m. at the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art. In addition to raising funds to help send University of Texas Rio Grande Valley students to study abroad in Dresden, Germany, in summer 2019, the concert is a chance for locals to take in some traditional German culture while listening to selections from classic- and Romantic-era German composers including Bach, Brahms, Mozart and Schumann.

The concert will feature voice, piano and guitar performed by UTRGV senior students and faculty, according to Arno Forst, the club’s faculty advisor. New this year will be a brass quintet, featuring trumpet, trombone and French horn, performing traditional music during a pre- and post-concert receptions, he said.

“The trumpets are a very critical element of German Christmas music,” Forst said. “In the U.S. you have the tradition of caroling. We always have brass ensembles playing Christmas music. No trumpet, no Christmas.”

A big hit at last year’s Weihnachtskonzert — Glühwein, a hot, mulled wine very popular in Germany during the winter — will be back this year. Non-alcoholic, hot apple cider will also be available, as will food.

“We are just hoping for snow,” Forst said.

Last year’s concert, held at the Historic Brownsville Museum, sold out and was well received, he said. Forst said he hopes to fit an additional people 50 inside the BMFA for this year’s concert.

Brownsville has largely embraced the German club’s happenings so far, namely concerts, Oktoberfest, “Beer Day” and the St. Martin’s Day Children’s Lantern Parade, he said. Proceeds from the revenue-generating events go to helping students study abroad and also to stage free events such as the children’s parade, which took place Nov. 11 and attracted about 200 young participants, Forst said.

Weihnachtskonzert promises a dose of tranquility — via soothing, beautiful music and a glass of wine — to take the edge off the nerve-jarring start to the holiday shopping season, he said.

“And it serves the mission of bringing some German culture to the Valley,” Forst said.


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