For the fifth consecutive year, the National Capital Band (Bandmaster Dr. Steve Kellner) visited Gaithersburg Presbyterian Church for the church’s Winter Hymn Sing.
This year, the band began with a “mini-concert”, playing five items before the event began. These included three hymn tunes arranged by Eric Ball, Angelus, Laudes Domini and Lobe den Herren. Also featured in this section were Jesus Loves Me (James B. Anderson) and St. Francis (William Himes).
The bulk of the event, as is evident from the name, consisted of the assembled congregation singing a variety of song – a total of fifteen. Ably led by the church’s director of music, Ann Y. Schmidt, and assisted by organist Mark Hanak, the event moved smoothly from item to item.
During the program, in addition to accompanying thirteen of the fifteen songs, the band presented the third movement of William Himes’ suite To the Chief Musician. The singing drew to a rousing finish with the band, organ and congregation joining in Crown Him with Many Crowns (arr. Charles Skinner).
As in previous years, the Hymn Sing was followed by a chili dinner in the church fellowship hall. Members of the church provided a dazzling variety of chili, with everything from traditional beef to venison to chicken to vegetarian. One rather unusual choice this year was a Moroccan chili, with exotic spices served over a bed of couscous.
The Winter Hymn Sing has become a favorite on the National Capital Band’s annual schedule, and this year was no exception as the band enjoyed good music and good fellowship with the members of Gaithersburg Presbyterian Church.